No-surgery valve repair puts excitement to the test
Through-the-artery approaches aren't yet ready to replace surgery for failing valves.
Balloon angioplasty, which is done through a small nick over a blood vessel in the groin, revolutionized the treatment of clogged coronary arteries by offering an alternative to open-heart bypass surgery. A similar sea change is in the making for treating faulty heart valves. Doctors, inventors, and engineers around the world are developing and testing ways to fix failing valves without splitting the breastbone and opening the heart.