Heart Hospital of Austin in January hosted the first procedure using a new heart valve in patients suffering from restricted blood flow.

Cardiothoracic surgeons John Oswalt and Faraz Kerendi from Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons physician practice have successfully implanted a new Sorin Perceval S sutureless, self-anchoring heart valve in approximately 10 patients since the start of the year. Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons is one of 25 locations nationwide where the clinical study using the valves is taking place.

Doctors can place the new valve without using sutures, or stitches, to hold it in place, Kerendi said.

"The main thing—you can put it in faster," Kerendi said. "Whenever you put in a new valve, you have to stop the heart, and the shorter you can do that, the more beneficial. Also you can do smaller incisions because you don't need as much access to put all the sutures in."

In addition the new valves are slightly larger than past versions, he said. St. David's South Austin Medical Center has also been approved for the same clinical trials, although no such surgeries have been performed there yet, Kerendi said.