Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
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Erin Fairchild
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Heart valve surgery in elderly patients shows good outcomes

Houston, TX - 11/30/2008

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, cardiac surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, presented results of his research on aortic valve replacement in octogenarians at the American Heart Association conference in New Orleans in November.  His study showed that patients over 80 had the same outcomes as patients much younger.

“It is great to see that aortic valve replacement remains a very good treatment option for patients with hardened aortic valves, even as they age into their 80s,” said Lawrie, who holds the Michael E. DeBakey Chair in Cardiac Surgery at Methodist and is director of the Heart Valve Institute at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. “Aortic valves tend to become stenotic, or harden, as we age.  Since valve replacement gives people such a higher quality of life, we want to be able to provide this safely, even as our population ages.”

His lab reviewed 203 patients with an average age of 83 who underwent aortic valve surgery at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center during 1977 to 2008. The average perioperative mortality in these patients was about 6 percent, not significantly different from the average 4 percent perioperative mortality in 1,020 patients with an average age of 63, who also had aortic valve surgery at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center during the same period.

For more information about the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, see www.debakeyheartcenter.com