HCA Gulf Coast
June 18, 2024

HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center completed the first transcatheter valve replacement on May 29, 2024.

Houston, TX – HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center has achieved a significant milestone in cardiac care with the successful completion of their first minimally invasive transcatheter procedure for tricuspid regurgitation. This is only the second time this procedure has been performed in Texas. This groundbreaking treatment offers new hope for patients suffering from severely leaky tricuspid valves, a condition that previously had limited treatment options besides medical therapy.

Tricuspid regurgitation occurs when the tricuspid valve fails to close properly, causing blood to flow backward into the heart. This condition is often caused by an enlarged heart and can lead to debilitating symptoms such as swelling in the abdomen, fatigue, weight loss and shortness of breath. Until now, patients with tricuspid regurgitation had few options for treatment, with open-heart surgery being the traditional approach.

However, with the recent FDA approval of the minimally invasive transcatheter therapy, patients can now undergo a procedure that eliminates the need for open-heart surgery, which carries associated risks. This breakthrough therapy involves replacing the faulty valve with an artificial tricuspid valve, allowing patients to resume normal activities and improve their overall well-being.

Dr. Pranav Loyalka, HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division Director of Structural Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, and Mechanical Circulatory Support and renowned cardiologist at HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center, performed the procedure for his patient, Misako, on May 29, 2024.

Misako, a long-time resident of Houston, had been struggling with fatigue, shortness of breath, and multiple hospitalizations, which severely impacted her quality of life.

"Every day activities such as walking in the grocery store were difficult, and some days were better than others. Traveling became very challenging and I often felt unwell and needed to constantly rest,” said Misako. “My quality of life was constantly deteriorating and some days I felt hopeless."

“This was a great alternative for her since a previous open-heart surgery meant she had an increased risk for complications with traditional treatment options,” said Dr. Loyalka. “Misako came to us after experiencing weight loss leading to fatigue and shortness of breath in her daily life. She is doing much better after the procedure and plans to return to traveling with her family again.”

Misako became more hopeful and optimistic about her future when she placed her trust in Dr. Loyalka and the skilled cardiovascular team at HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center, who performed this revolutionary procedure.

Misako and Dr. Pranav Loyalka

"This experience was incomparable to my previous open-heart surgery and recovery, over 10 years ago. My previous open-heart surgery left me feeling incapacitated, and the journey to restore my physical, mental, and emotional health spanned over six months to a year,” she said. “This new procedure was vastly different and required a much shorter hospital stay allowing me to begin my recovery at home and start to feel more like myself again."

Misako's heartfelt gratitude extends to the entire care team at HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center, whom she describes as "phenomenal." Their unwavering dedication and expertise played a pivotal role in her successful recovery. She has already scheduled several trips for this summer and is eagerly looking forward to living her best life.

The transcatheter therapy utilizes an artificial tricuspid valve made of cow tissue attached to a self-expanding metal frame for support. This valve can replace the tricuspid valve without the need for open-heart surgery or additional procedures, providing a less invasive and more efficient treatment option for patients.

HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center is home to some of Houston's leading cardiovascular surgeons as part of a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team that delivers the highest level of compassionate care and advanced treatment options for complex and high-risk diagnoses. Learn more at www.HCAHoustonHealthcare.com/medical-center.