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Valve Repair

The St. Francis Heart Center and the St. Francis Heart Valve Center are the world leaders in the treatment of complex cardiovascular issues, using state-of-the-art diagnostics and procedures to provide appropriate, individualized patient care.

St. Francis Heart Center dedicated team of independent and Franciscan St. Francis physicians advocate for valve repair over replacement whenever possible because valve repair preserves the patient’s own heart valve, eliminating the need for blood-thinning medications and maintaining normal cardiac function. Using leading-edge surgical procedures, including valve repair surgery using Extracellular Matrix, surgeons can augment and repair the heart and its valves without the use of artificial devices.

How does Extracellular Matrix naturally repair cardiovascular tissue?
The cells in our bodies can only grow and multiply
if they have some type of structure to which they can attach. This structural “bio-scaffold” within our bodies supports and encourages cell growth, which ultimately forms different types of tissue.

CorMatrix ECM is a unique bio-scaffold “patch” that, when sutured to the patient’s heart tissue during surgery, enables patients to naturally regrow their own cardiovascular tissue.

Once the ECM is surgically implanted, the patient’s own cells migrate and integrate, as part of the body’s innate wound-healing mechanisms to restore tissue at the site of implantation. During the tissue repair process, the matrix provides a framework for the patient’s own cells to attach and organize. The cells produce new matrix, replacing the implanted patch which is resorbed over time. This leaves remodeled, functional tissue instead of scar tissue or injured tissue.

Advantages of valve surgery using ECM
Synthetic materials and traditional surgical patches lack the performance characteristics of a tissue-based product and can cause an inflammatory response by the body. CorMatrix ECM, however, leads to the growth of new, functional cardiovascular tissue.

FDA approval
ECM has been licensed for use as an implant for pericardial closure since 2006. It received FDA clearance in 2007.