October 07, 2009 12:19 ET

EmpowHer Discusses Elizabeth Taylor's Experimental Heart Surgery

Renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon Says Procedure Is Controversial

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - October 7, 2009) - Seventy-seven year-old Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor announced on Tuesday she was having a Mitraclip heart procedure. Leading cardiothoracic surgeon and heart surgery expert Dr. Lishan Aklog, M.D. appeared on EmpowHer, the home of women's health online, to explain why her surgery is "experimental and controversial."

Dr. Aklog, a cardiothoracic surgeon, Chairman of EmpowHer's Medical Advisory Board, Director and Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Heart and Lung Institute of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona explained in an interview with EmpowHer, "It sounds like Elizabeth Taylor has a leaky valve, what appears to be a leaky mitral valve. This is the inlet valve for the main pumping chamber of the heart. When that valve is leaking, some of the blood goes backwards and leaks back towards the lungs, and that causes a condition which she apparently was diagnosed with five years ago called congestive heart failure."

"It appears Taylor is undergoing a new, and most would argue, experimental and controversial procedure to attempt to repair this leaky valve," shared Dr. Aklog. When asked to discuss why the Mitraclip procedure was considered experimental, Aklog explained, "the procedure has not been proven to be effective. It's still under clinical trial to see if it is indeed effective and renders acceptable results."

During the interview, Aklog also discusses the standard mitral valve procedure, its success rate and the possible reasons why Elizabeth Taylor chose this procedure vs. its more traditional counterpart.


EmpowHer is a health media company for women. The Company's website, EmpowHER.com, provides women with access to condition-specific health information, world-class medical resources, and a dynamic community of experts and advocates committed to their well-being. Millions of women visit EmpowHER.com every year, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing resources dedicated exclusively to women's health and wellness.


Dr. Lishan Aklog is the Chairman of EmpowHer's Medical Advisory Board and the Director and Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Heart and Lung Institute of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Specializing in adult cardiac care, he graduated from Harvard College followed by Harvard Medical School. Dr. Aklog was a cardiothoracic resident at Brigham and Women's/Boston Children's Hospital, an Associate Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and completed international fellowships in London, England and Paris, France.


Dr. Aklog is available to discuss the Mitraclip heart procedure. To schedule an interview with Dr. Aklog, please contact Todd Hartley at thartley@empowher.com or by phone at 480-315-1443.

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