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Carilion Structural Heart Program treats 200th patient using innovative valve replacement

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ROANOKE (WSLS10) - A local hospital reaches a major milestone.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital surpassed treating its 200th patient using a minimally invasive heart procedure that's an alternative to open heart surgery.

It's called Transcatheter Aortic Calve Replacement. The surgery sends a valve up to the heart by going through the leg artery using a catheter.

Doctors told us it shows faster results.

"We've had patients that had pump functions of only 20 percent, barely squeezing," commented Dr. Jason Foerst, a structural interventional cardiologist at Carilion. "As soon as we put the valve in, immediately the heart function goes back to normal. We've had patients that couldn't walk more than a few feet before the procedure, and instantly after the procedure, they're able to walk.

Carilion was the first hospital in Southwest Virginia to bring this technology to our area.