Once the heart-lung machine was developed, surgeons began to attempt heart valve replacement with cage-ball valves. The first successful valve replacement was performed by Dr. Dwight Harken and his colleagues at Harvard's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. Harken used a cage-ball valve to replace the aortic valve. Many of the techniques described in his 1960 report are similar to those used today for aortic valve replacement.
The same year, Dr. Albert Starr successfully replaced the mitral valve by using a cage-ball valve.
In 1964, Starr and associates reported on thirteen patients who had undergone multiple heart valve replacements. One patient had the aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valves replaced on February 21, 1963.
By 1967, nearly two thousand StarrEdwards heart valves had been implanted, and the cage-ball prosthesis had gen-
In 1960, Dr. Dwight Harken (left) performed the first successful valve replacement in the normal aortic valve position with an artificial valve. He used a cage-ball valve to replace the aortic valve.
Tetralogy of Fallot:
A set of four individual defects, including: 1) a ventricular septal defect; 2) an obstruction of blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries; 3) overriding of the aortic valve above the ventricular septal defect; and 4) an abnormally thickened right ventricle.
Dr. Albert Starr (right) was part of the team that developed the Starr-Edwards cage-ball heart valve (facing page). Starr was the first to successfully replace a mitral valve with that valve. The Starr-Edwards valves went on to become the world standard.
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