The Oregon Clinic’s Dr. Eric Kirker only in state to perform complex heart procedure

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Oregon Clinic

The Oregon Clinic, with 15 years of offering specialty medical services, has something new for its patients with malfunctioning aortic valves.  The clinic’s Eric Kirker, MD, is the only physician in Oregon to perform a Valve Sparing Aortic Root Replacement (VSR).  The complex procedure is designed to save a malfunctioning aortic valve. 

Dr. Kirker said that though the procedure is accepted as safe and effective, it is not universally performed.

“Because this is unlike many other Cardiac procedures it requires special training,” he noted. “Furthermore, at special centers where this is performed, not all of the surgeons perform it.  I have had a chance to perform several since my arrival here in Oregon, and with success.”

To better describe the need for this procedure, Dr. Kirker explained that VSR is an option when people’s aortas dilate and become deformed.  When this happens, the valves leak and can lead to heart failure.

“Even worse,” Dr. Kirker added, “the aorta becomes so big that it ruptures. Traditionally, this is repaired by replacing the aorta and its valve with a prosthetic tissue valve which can wear out, or a mechanical valve which requires lifelong treatment.”

Craig Fausel, MD, President and gastroenterologist with The Oregon Clinic, said he is pleased to have someone with Dr. Kirker’s unique expertise on staff. 

“Dr. Kirker is an excellent example of the specialized services offered by the 120 physicians who make up The Oregon Clinic.”