At the ongoing Annual Meeting of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, NeoChord, an Eden Prairie, Minnesota firm, is showing off its experimental device for replacing damaged chordae tendinae with artificial ones in patients with mitral valve prolapse.
The NeoChord DS1000 device, because it is inserted through a chest incision that doesn’t require cracking of the ribs, provides a relatively minimally invasive option for this procedure. As important is the fact that the patient doesn’t need to be put on bypass, simplifying the surgery and substantially reducing associated risk factors.
From NeoChord’s technology page:
The NeoChord procedure is performed on the beating heart through a 2 to 3 inch incision between the ribs, unlike some repair procedures where the sternum is cut and the rib cage is spread open. Using echocardiographic guidance, the NeoChord DS1000 is introduced through the lowest part of the heart (apex), into the left ventricle, and between the mitral valve leaflets. The prolapsed leaflet is then grasped using the expandable jaws of the device. When the monitor confirms that the leaflet has been adequately captured, the ePTFE suture is deployed and attached to the leaflet. The suture is then pulled through the apex of the heart as the DS1000 is removed. The correct length of the suture is determined by using real time echocardiographic guidance and observing the improvement in mitral valve regurgitation in the beating heart. The suture is then secured to the apex of the heart.