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UAB Medicine First in Southeast to implant Edwards Inspiris Valve

James Davies Jr., MD, director of the UAB Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, is the first surgeon in the Southeast to implant the new Edwards Inspiris heart valve. Developed for patients with aortic valve disease, the Inspiris valve is made of specially treated bovine tissue that may help it last longer and has an expandable frame to allow future valve-in-valve procedures. It is ideal for younger patients who need surgical replacement of their aortic valve. It is built on the same frame as the most trusted tissue valve that has been used for decades. Although initial placement of the valve does require open surgery, its expandable frame makes it more suitable for future percutaneous valve replacement, which is a minimally invasive procedure often done through the groin and requires only small incisions.  This means that if the patient needs to have the valve replaced in the future,  it does not require open surgery again.

The Edwards Inspiris valve is a game-changer for future transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures.  The valve has special features to help with any future valve replacement, and the expandable frame allows for implantation of a larger valve if needed in the future.  The valve is a perfect example of how traditional surgical and transcatheter programs can seamlessly work together to provide patients with the highest quality lifelong care.