BY AUDREY OWUSU
A hospital is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its surgeons performing a specialist surgery with the announcement of another pioneering procedure.
St Thomas’ Hospital has become the first hospital in the UK to offer an alternative minimally invasive procedure, the transcaval approach, for patients too weak for other less intrusive options.
The surgery being celebrated is the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), and is a non-invasive alternative to open heart surgery for patients who are too sick or weak.
The new procedure enables more high-risk heart valve disease patients, including those unsuited for TAVI, to receive a minimally invasive procedure and return to normal life.
Chris Young, consultant cardiac surgeon at St Thomas’ Hospital, said: “We are on the cusp of TAVI becoming the first treatment of choice for patients, reserving open AVR for more complex settings, and we at St Thomas’ Hospital are proud to be paving the way with minimally invasive valve replacement options in the UK.”
Norman Brown is a patient who received a TAVI at St Thomas’ Hospital after being diagnosed with heart valve disease after struggling with simple tasks for six years.
Mr Brown said: “I am forever grateful to the doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital for the treatment I received “After suffering with the symptoms of aortic stenosis for some time, the surgery has given me my life back and I am now able to continue being involved in my local community and spend time with my children and grandchildren.”
Labour MP Steve McCabe, who had open heart surgery in 2012, was present during the surgery.
He said: “Having witnessed a TAVI procedure, I was astounded at how minimally invasive procedures can not only reduce the burden of receiving treatment but vastly improve recovery times for people like myself who have suffered from heart valve disease.”