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Alice Braniff, 87, recently received a new heart valve using a new surgery technique that allowed for a faster recovery. David Samson / The Forum

Sanford team replaces heart valve with new method

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FARGO - Just months ago, doctors here wouldn't have been able to repair a narrowing valve in Alice Braniff's heart.

The 87-year-old woman likely wouldn't have survived open-heart surgery to replace the valve.

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Without a new valve, the odds suggest she more than likely wouldn't have survived two more years.

But Braniff was one of the first patients in the area to receive a new heart valve using a recently approved procedure that doesn't require major surgery.

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