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Ismail El-Hamamsy, MD, PhD, Named President of the Heart Valve Society

World leader in aortic valve reconstruction is first Mount Sinai surgeon to lead the international organization

(Boston, MA –February 22, 2024) –Ismail El-Hamamsy, MD, PhD, Director of Aortic Surgery for the Mount Sinai Health System and the Mount Sinai Randall B. Griepp, MD Professor in Cardiovascular Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was named as the new President of the Heart Valve Society (HVS) at the 2024 HVS Annual Meeting on Wednesday, February 21, in Boston. He is the first Mount Sinai surgeon to hold this prestigious position, and becomes the 11th President of HVS.

In his year-long term as President of HVS, Dr. El-Hamamsy will focus on fostering collaboration among cardiologists, surgeons, and researchers, as well as promoting awareness and encouraging innovation to reduce the burden of heart valve disease globally. He previously served on the HVS Board of Directors and has led the HVS AVIATOR Registry, an international registry examining outcomes after aortic valve surgery. At this year’s meeting, he led several sessions focusing on aortic valve/root replacement in young adults and delivered a keynote lecture on the renaissance of the Ross procedure for aortic valve reconstruction.

“I am very excited and honored to lead the Heart Valve Society and further consolidate its role as a unique society dedicated to valvular heart disease. In the year to come, I aim to further advance awareness about the global burden of valve disease, as well as promote collaborative research initiatives between scientists and clinicians. Furthermore, I hope to leverage the Heart Valve Society as a great educational platform for cardiologists and surgeons, in order to advance best practices for patients worldwide,” says Dr. El-Hamamsy.  

These strategies closely align with Dr. El-Hamamsy’s work in studying outcomes of the Ross procedure, disseminating the data, and teaching surgeons around the world to perform this operation safely and effectively. “Over the past decade, there has been a global rise in Ross procedures, as new studies have continued to reveal superior long-term outcomes as compared to patients who received biological or mechanical aortic valve replacements,” he says.

Dr. El-Hamamsy is a recognized expert in aortic surgery, including the Ross procedure, and led a team of Mount Sinai cardiovascular surgeons to perform more than 100 successful Ross procedures in 2023—the first time any surgical program in the world has achieved this milestone in a single year. This specialized and complex procedure is the optimal treatment for replacing a diseased aortic valve in adolescents and adults with the patient’s own living pulmonary valve—a mirror image of a normal aortic valve—resulting in improved long-term life expectancy, unlike mechanical or tissue valve replacements. The Ross procedure also requires less reliance on blood thinners and reduces the chances of requiring another surgery or valve intervention.

The aortic valve controls blood flow from the heart into the aorta, the main artery that feeds blood to most of the body. When the valve does not work correctly, patients may need a replacement to preserve function of the heart muscle and prevent issues such as heart failure or sudden cardiac death.

The standard open-heart procedures for repair include mechanical valve replacement, which uses a manufactured valve that requires patients to take life-long blood thinners to prevent stroke. These blood thinners can make patients susceptible to bruising and uncontrollable bleeding, and patients often have to avoid sports and other physical activity that may involve rough contact or falls. They also increase the risks associated with childbirth. Another common valve replacement option is a biological aortic valve replacement from a human or animal donor. These wear out faster than a mechanical valve or Ross procedure and require earlier reoperation in younger patients.

“The Ross Procedure is all the more life-changing for women who are contemplating future pregnancies, and for patients who lead active lifestyles,” said Dr. El-Hamamsy.

Dr. El-Hamamsy has published numerous studies examining the role of different aortic valve replacement procedures on long term outcomes of patients. A recent study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology was the first to compare the Ross procedure to the mechanical and biological valve replacement, showing improved survival and better outcomes in adults. In addition, his more recent study in JAMA Cardiology showed a survival benefit following the Ross procedure of up to 26 years. This groundbreaking study was the first to demonstrate benefits more than two decades after the operation.

To learn more about the Ross procedure at Mount Sinai click on the link below:

Mount Sinai is a World Leader in Cardiology and Heart Surgery

Mount Sinai Fuster Heart Hospital at The Mount Sinai Hospital ranks No. 1 in New York and No. 4 globally according to Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Specialized Hospitals” for 2024. It also ranks No. 1 in New York in 2023-24 for cardiology, heart, and vascular surgery, according to U.S. News & World Report®.  

It is part of Mount Sinai Health System, which is New York City's largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. We advance medicine and health through unrivaled education and translational research and discovery to deliver care that is the safest, highest-quality, most accessible and equitable, and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,400 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

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