In Western countries, TAVI has now become the most common go-to cardiac operation when it comes to minimally invasive surgical procedures for valve replacement. With almost 95% success rate, TAVI is considered to be the gold standard treatment for older and frail patients suffering from aortic-stenosis, who have been earlier excluded from undergoing open heart surgery due to high risk. The advanced technology of TAVI or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement has given hope of a new life to the geriatric population suffering from vascular diseases.
The heart has four valves – mitral valve and tricuspid valve control blood flow from the atria to the ventricles, while aortic valve and pulmonary valve control blood flow out of the ventricles. In short, the basic function of valves is to allow seamless flow of blood through the heart. When any of those valves are dysfunctional, earlier an open heart surgery was performed to replace them. Now with TAVI procedure, the valves can be substituted without opening the heart. This procedure is done through the leg artery via groin, where a catheter is passed all the way to the heart. By insertion of a prosthetic catheter through the circulatory system, the old valve is replaced with the new valve which immediately starts working for regulating blood flow.
With overall technological advancement across the world, the mortality rate is rapidly falling and people are living longer, especially in Western countries. Older people are more prone to succumbing to such cardio-vascular disorders and they are also at risk when open heart surgery is performed on them. The most common symptoms experienced by patients of aortic-stenosis are chest pains, extreme breathlessness if they exert themselves and sometimes fainting spells too. After going through a complete pre-surgery check-up including CT scan, X-Ray, blood test etc, the expert physicians recommend TAVI which has now been proven to be one of the most cutting-edge surgical treatments recognized by medical community across the world. But it should be kept in mind that TAVI is relatively expensive and not many can afford it.
“TAVI is safer and more effective than open heart surgery as there is no blood loss, much less risk of infection and possibility of fast recovery. It is now accepted that TAVI is undoubtedly the most preferred option for patients suffering from aortic-stenosis. While till now close to 200 such surgeries have been done in India, hardly 1-2 of them have been done in Eastern India. At, CK Birla Hospitals – BM Birla Heart Research Centre Kolkata, we have the most cutting-edge and reliable technology to perform this surgery along with complete post-surgical care.” says Dr. Anjan Siotia, Department of Cardiology, CK Birla Hospitals – BM Birla Heart Research Centre.
Dr. Siotia adds that the following points be kept in mind while patients choose to go for TAVI procedure:
- Always opt for a renowned physician who has hands-on knowledge and expertise on TAVI surgery
- Verify the credentials of the hospital and its entire infrastructure
- Undergo a proper pre-operative risk evaluation
- Check your co-morbidities
- Follow your post-surgery routine and therapy religiously. Go for regular check-ups as recommended by your doctor
Over the years TAVI has definitely emerged to be a life-saving surgery to numerous elderly patients across the world and India. In Eastern India, CK Birla Hospitals – BM Birla Heart Research Centre with its highly skilled doctors, world-class infrastructure, and extensive successful implementation of their research, is now offering this progressive surgical technique for a much better quality of life.
Dr. Anjan Siotia, Department of Cardiology,
BM Birla Heart Research Centre