New keyhole heart surgery may benefit

Surgeons at King's College London have performed a new procedure in which a replacement valve is inserted directly into the heart via keyhole surgery, the BBC reports.

Experts suggest that the development could benefit thousands of people, removing the need for many to undergo open heart surgery which can be risky for frail and elderly patients.

The clinical trial has so far involved two patients who were deemed at high risk for open heart surgery.

One of the surgeons, Olaf Wendler, told the BBC that the patients did not need to be admitted to intensive care after surgery.

"They all recovered without complications and were ready to be discharged home only a week after surgery.

"These new minimally-invasive procedures could potentially revolutionise treatment for patients who suffer from this condition," he added.

Around 18,000 patients undergo heart surgery to correct aortic valve stenosis (narrowing of a heart valve).

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