Healthier Connections: Mitral Valve surgery

HARTFORD -- An international leader in cardiac surgery works right here in Hartford.

Dr. Sabet Hashim, Hartford Healthcare’s Chairman of Cardiac Surgery, said traditionally a ring has been put around the valve to stop the leak. He believes preserving the valve is better than replacing it.

"That has not worked very well," he said. "About two-thirds of the patients get the leaky valve back within a year or a few months then they suffer."

So, this world-renowned surgeon devised a new technique.

Hashim recently spoke before the American Association of Thoracic Surgeons, detailing a 10-year study of 60 patients who went through this operation and showing great success.

"Five-year freedom from recurrence is 93 percent," he said. "Only 2 patients had it come back. We showed this type of repair is durable and that the patients live longer and better."

"We are in an exciting place I’m thrilled we’re achieving positive results.We have an impact now," said Hashim.

Hashim believes his technique will become more common, and have a positive impact on the future of countless people facing leaky valves, a very common medical problem.

"My number one goal is to have more surgeons do this procedure because I firmly believe it is a repair for these types of patients," said Hashim.