BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The FDA announced today the expanded approval for replacement heart valves made by Medtronic and Edwards Lifesciences to include patients at low risk from open-heart surgery.

A cardiothoracic surgeon from the University of Alabama at Birmingham is available to provide comment on how it will impact patient care moving forward.

Sara Pereira, M.D., is an associate professor with the UAB Department of Surgery and specializes in all aspects of adult cardiac surgery. The surgical team at UAB has performed which has performed more transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures — more than 1,000 — than any other center in Alabama.

Through this volume of procedures, Pereira has an exceptional understanding of the disease process and the surgical treatment of vascular heart disease.