Dr Noor, with the dedicated cardiac catheterisation nursing
team and Tavi patients Al Shehabi, 4th from left, and Al Dookhi,
2nd from right
Ground-breaking heart op success in Bahrain
Manama, February 13, 2014
Ground-breaking heart surgery that allows doctors to give a new lease of life to patients previously thought to be beyond help has been performed in Bahrain for the first time.
Surgeons at the BDF Hospital successfully carried out the procedure, known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (Tavi), at the start of this month on two elderly patients suffering from heart disease, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
“This is a new technique and a very expensive technique,” said consultant interventional cardiologist Dr Husam Noor, who is head of the Tavi programme at the BDF Hospital’s Mohamed bin Khalifa bin Salman Cardiac Centre.
“Currently, when we have someone who has valve narrowing in the heart we do open heart surgery – taking the old valve out and surgically implanting a new one.
“That is the way it has been done for the past 20 or 30 years, but there are people who are too high-risk to have that kind of surgery.”
They include older patients and those with underlying health problems.
“In the past they would have been unable to undergo surgery - their condition would be left untreated and they would die,” said Dr Noor.
“Now what we do is, go through an artery in the groin and insert the new valve using a catheter.
“In Bahrain, this is the first time this surgery has been done and in the whole Gulf region there has been only about 50 or 60 cases, mainly in Saudi.”
The Tavi team at the cardiac centre comprises Dr Sadanada Sivappa, Dr Habib Tarief, Dr Ahmed Khatab, Dr Haitham Amin, Dr Nezar Kamal and Dr Leena Sulaibekhan.
Interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anaesthetists and cardiac imaging specialists underwent training in collaboration with international centres of excellence such as the University of Bern in Switzerland.
Their first patient was 69-year-old Humood Al Dookhi, a morbidly obese diabetic who suffered from shortness of breath and sleep apnea.
Diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis, which is the technical term for narrowing of the valves of the heart, Al Dookhi was put forward as a suiuitable candidate to undergo the Tavi procedure.
“His risk of having post-operative complications with the conventional open heart surgery was high, and thus Tavi was a good alternative method to relieve his symptoms,” said Dr Noor.
On that same day 83-year- old Hussain Al Shehabi also went under the knife.
A former prostate cancer patient, he had extensive coronary artery disease and was seen as an ideal candidate for the procedure due to his advanced age and medical history.
Both men are said to be recovering well following their surgery and Dr Noor is confident many more patients can be helped by his team.
“I do have to stress the cost of the procedure though,” he said.
“It is four times the cost of conventional surgery. The cost of this ground-breaking procedure far exceeds BD18,000 ($47,500) – this is the cost of the implanted valve only.” - TradeArabia News Service
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