Haltom City

North Texas Teen Undergoes New Procedure in Place of Open Heart Surgery

A 14-year-old from Haltom City became the first patient in North Texas to benefit from a newly-approved heart device that takes the "open" part out of certain open-heart surgery

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A Haltom City teenager is ready for summer fun after becoming the first North Texan to undergo a revolutionary heart procedure that can replace open-heart surgery for some patients.

At just 14 years old, Adam Roberts is a medical pioneer.

He was born with a complex heart defect and at a few days old, had to have open-heart surgery, but the repair to his heart would last only a few years.

"They told us that would last 13-15 years before he would have to have anything else done. He just turned 14, so it did last the 13 years. We scheduled open-heart surgery for spring break in March," said Adam's mother Jamie.

However, a week before the scheduled surgery came news that the FDA had just approved a new heart valve, specially designed for patients like Adam, that could be inserted through a catheter in the leg.

It would be done during a minimally invasive procedure, replacing what would have normally been open-heart surgery.

"If you would have told me about this when I started my interventional cardiologist training, that we would be where we are now, it would be hard to believe that we had come this far," said pediatric interventional cardiologist Dr. Vivan Dimas, medical director of adult congenital heart disease at Medical City Children’s Hospital.

Dimas said the advancement is life-changing for patients like Adam who have to get the heart valve replaced about every 10 years.

"As their physician, to be able to not subject them to multiple surgeries, which again, have increased risks each time you go in and do another surgery, I think it's a win for everybody," said Dimas.

"It's such a great relief and such a blessing that he doesn't have to suffer through that again," said Jamie Roberts.

As a result, Adam wasn't forced to deal with an extensive recovery or an extensive scar in the chest.

About24 hours after he got his new heart valve, he was back home, a trailblazer for heart warriors.

"God is always on our side," said Adam.

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