Gresham man becomes first in state to have new heart valve replacement procedure

Dennis Troxel of Gresham was the first person in Oregon to undergo a new heart valve replacement procedure. (KATU Photo)

A Gresham man just became the first Oregonian to have a mitral valve replaced without open heart surgery.

Dennis Troxel needed to have his mitral heart valve replaced but doctors told him his veins were too small to have open heart surgery and wasn’t a candidate for a heart transplant.

However, Troxel did qualify for a new test program, the first of its kind in the state.

"They said well, we'll see if we can get you in on this new program that we've got, this new trial, and so here I am," Troxel said.

During the procedure, doctors made a six-inch cut on the side of his chest. They then slid a new valve made from cow tissue up an artery to the heart and then released it.

The entire surgery at Oregon Health & Science University only took a few hours.

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