Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. on Wednesday reported first-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s projections and raised its full-year outlook.

The replacement heart valve maker posted a profit of $63.9 million, up 34% from a year earlier.

Analysts had expected Edwards to make a $50.6 million profit in the quarter.

First-quarter sales grew 19% to $404.5 million, above Wall Street’s projection of $384 million.

Sales of Sapien, Edwards’ highly touted less-invasive heart valve that's current on the market in Europe, came in at $72.7 million, up 86% over 2010’s first quarter. The company said in a release that number was helped by the introduction of a larger version of the valve.

Sapien, which some analysts consider the most important development in replacement heart valves in years, could be rolled out in the U.S. as early as October. Edwards alluded to an assumed launch of the valve here in its 2011 forecast revision.

The device maker said it expects total sales to come in at $1.66 billion to $1.74 billion, up from a previous forecast of $1.59 billion to $1.67 billion. Edwards said that forecast assumed that Sapien would be introduced in the U.S. in October and would have sales of $20 million to $25 million.

Edwards could see a full-year profit of $242.2 million to $249.4 million.

Analysts expect Edwards to make $235 million on sales of $1.63 billion in 2011.