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Fort Lauderdale

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  (December 20, 2012)Interventional/Structural cardiologist Alexander Llanos, M.D. performed the first Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure at the Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.

Margate resident Joanne Alleva, 49,  successfully underwent the new procedure used to repair a congenital heart defect consisting of an opening between the upper chambers of the heart (Atria) that allows blood to abnormally flow between those two chambers and can lead to congestive heart failure.

"[Before] it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I was so tired," said Alleva. "[After the procedure] I didn't have the heaviness. I was so thrilled. Now, I feel great."

The new technique eliminates the need for cardiac surgery and involves delivering a specialized ASD closure device.  First, a catheter is inserted into a vein in the groin. The device is then guided into place through the catheter by a combination of ultrasound and fluoroscopic imaging technology. After closure is verified, the catheter is removed from the vein in the groin leaving the ASD closure device securely in place. Patients can typically return home the day following the procedure.  

“This procedure usually results in a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery with similar efficacy compared to previous treatment methods which involve invasive heart surgery," Dr. Llanos said. 

The procedure was performed as part of the Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center's Valve and Structural Heart Disease Clinic which is led by expert cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons that use a multi-disciplinary approach to provide several treatment options for patients with complex disease of the cardiac valves (stenosis, regurgitation), abnormal communications between cardiac chambers (Atrial septal defect, patent foramen ovale, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, paravalvular leaks), emerging therapies for atrial fibrillation as well as a number of other cardiac disorders.

In addition to catheter based techniques, the team at Holy Cross provides advanced treatment options which include minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery as well as the standard surgical therapies.

The Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center at Holy Cross Hospital features a new, 2,000-square-foot hybrid operating room (Combination of full cardiac catheterization laboratory and full operating room) offering a state of the art facility for performance of these cutting-edge procedures.

Recognized as a leader in cardiac care, Holy Cross also offers progressive research at the Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Research Institute. 

The Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Center at Holy Cross Hospital, located at 4725 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, offers a wide array of diagnostic services including EKG, stress tests, Holter monitoring, tilt table testing, echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, peripheral angiography, peripheral vascular ultrasound and comprehensive electrophysiologic testing.  For more information call (954) 229-7970 or visit www.holycrossheart.com.

 A member of Catholic Health East, Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is a full-service, non-profit Catholic hospital, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. Since opening its doors in 1955, the 559-bed hospital has offered progressive services and programs to meet the evolving healthcare needs of Broward County. Today, Holy Cross has more than 600 physicians on staff representing more than 40 specialties and more than 3,000 employees. To learn more about Holy, visit www.holy-cross.com, “like” Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale on Facebook or follow @holycrossfl on Twitter.