Thanks to pioneering technology, Glenfield Hospital has become one of the first hospitals outside of London to use and offer the newly developed Inspiris Resilia valve to its patients.

The Inspiris Resilia valve, developed by Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, will now set a new benchmark for surgical aortic valve replacement and will provide patients, particularly younger patients and those with active lifestyles, with a more resilient tissue valve thanks to its long durability. It will give younger patients suffering from cardiac issues, the choice of having either a mechanical valve or this new technology. 

The first implant of an Inspiris Resilia valve took place in August, making Glenfield Hospital the third hospital in the UK to carry out this procedure. Dr Annie Elliot, 64, from Thorpe Langton, near Market Harborough was the very first patient to receive the Inspiris valve at Glenfield Hospital and was also the first in the UK used for aortic root replacement. 

Before her operation, Annie noticed her pulse was slightly higher than normal and her breathing became wheezy. By October 2016, she became aware of mild chest pain and palpitations and went to the GP who arranged an echo (echocardiogram), which later showed her aortic valve was incompetent and the root had dilated. Further investigations over the next six months showed surgery was needed.

She said: “The recovery was amazingly swift and tiredness was greatly improved, so much so I was back at work seven weeks after the operation and able to help my daughter following the birth of her first baby. People have even commented how better I look compared to my preoperative state!

“I am lucky to have had such an extraordinary surgical and anaesthetic team to support me through this period.”

What makes the valve so distinctive is the Resilia tissue which has demonstrated low calcification (accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue) results, which was one of the biggest causes of failure in previous tissue valves. The benefits of having a tissue valve compared to a mechanical valve can dramatically improve the life of a patient and does not require long-term anti-coagulants.

The durability of the Inspiris Resilia valve also reduces the chance of reoperation and in the case of early degeneration, allows the valve to be replaced with a TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) valve, avoiding open heart surgery. 

Dr Giovanni Mariscalco, Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “The Inspiris Resilia is a breakthrough valve which we believe can change the lives of many patients for the better. So far, we have implanted this valve on around ten patients at Glenfield Hospital. 

“We are delighted to be one of the first hospitals to use this new valve and it’s great to hear how well our first patient, Annie, has recovered following the operation!”