Melbourne: Australian doctors have conducted the first trial of a new device that acts as a replacement heart valve and allows surgeons to insert it without the need for an open heart surgery.
Dubbed as the `lotus valve`, the Israeli manufactured device, opens up like a flower once inside the heart, and can be easily repositioned.
Doctors at the heart unit of Monash Medical Centre here have claimed to have made the breakthrough trials and saved 11 people suffering from aortic stenosis, or the degrading and narrowing of their main heart valve, a report in ABC said.
The surgery was performed as the women were too frail to undergo the invasive open heart surgery which is given to younger patients with the same condition.
Instead, a replacement heart valve was inserted on the end of a wire through a small hole in the groin.
The trial - which has enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate - promises to help save the lives of elderly patients.
86-year-old Muriel Satchwell was one of the women to agree to take part in the trial.
Monash heart director Ian Meredith beat off competition from the likes of Harvard University and the Mayo Clinic for the right to stage the first trials.
He said the prognosis for elderly aortic stenosis patients is usually about the same as people with advanced forms of cancer.
"When you have severe aortic valve narrowing and you become breathless as a consequence of that, more than half the people won`t survive 12 months," Meredith said.
"Only about a third will survive two years".