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A MitraClip

Life-saving alternative heart valve procedures on show

DUBAI, January 29, 2020

An aging population coupled with poor lifestyle choices continue to be a leading cause of cardio vascular diseases (CVDs) in the Middle East. 
 
As a result, patients continue to look for alternative and minimally invasive surgical heart procedures that will ultimately save their lives. 
 
During Arab Health 2020 and for the first time in the region, Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care (RB&HH) will present two leading advancements during live surgical demonstrations that provide hope to patients who are specifically suffering with aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation.
 
According to research, the Middle East is in the midst of a population shift. Recent years have seen fertility rates decline, while the average life expectancy has risen steadily from 60 to over 70 years old. 
 
The percentage of over-65s in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) is currently at 4.7 per cent and is expected to increase rapidly over the next 30 years, with a fivefold increase in the UAE. 
 
Healthcare spending in the region is also forecasted to increase exponentially suggesting that an ageing population will be a burden on the price of healthcare.
 
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO), CVDs are the number one cause of deaths worldwide, and in the region are the cause of 54 per cent of deaths of noncommunicable diseases. The aging population in addition to obesity continues to be a concern in the Middle East with higher rates of physical inactivity than other regions, while the use of tobacco is on the rise leading to a plethora of health complications.
 
During Arab Health 2020, two unique cardiac simulations will be performed by cardiologists from RB&HH Specialist Care in front of a live audience. 
 
Dr Simon Davies, consultant interventional cardiologist will showcase transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and Dr Robert Smith, consultant interventional cardiologist will perform a transcatheter mitral and tricuspid intervention.
 
“With the age of the region’s population increasing rapidly and also forecast to continue rising far into the future, it is crucial that patients in the Middle East have access to highly specialised and less invasive cardiac procedures. Arab Health is an excellent platform for us to be able showcase our alternative life-saving procedures and present patients with world-class options,” said Dr Davies.
 
Aortic stenosis is the most common and serious form of valve disease. For those suffering with the condition, one of the only options in the past for treatment was open heart surgery to replace the valves that are failing. 
 
The TAVI procedure is a less invasive form of aortic valve replacement, whereby a new aortic valve can be implanted either via the arteries in the groin, the arm, directly into the aorta or via a small cut in the chest.
 
During the procedure, a catheter is guided along an artery to the patient’s heart using special scanning equipment. The new valve is then placed within the narrowed aortic valve and expanded to relieve the obstruction.
 
Dr Davies said: “Imaging is a very important part of the process. Computed tomography (CT) scans provide detailed images of the patient’s aortic valve, identifying the right size and type of replacement valve. A combination of a very low dose X-ray and, where necessary, an echocardiogram helps to guide the device into position and checks it is working properly.”
 
Since none of these methods require the breast bone to be cut or open-heart surgery to be performed, they are less traumatic than conventional surgical aortic valve replacement. This procedure should cure aortic stenosis, so reducing the risk of heart failure and any shortness of breath, chest pain or fainting.
 
The mitral valve and tricuspid valve control blood flow from the atria to the ventricles. If the mitral valve’s two leaflets do not close completely then this allows blood to flow backwards at high pressure through the valve into the left atrium.
 
Known as mitral regurgitation (MR), it causes the heart to work harder to push blood around the body. Patients may experience symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and worsening heart failure. It can also put further pressure on the pulmonary vessels, and in severe cases, this can result in fluid congestion of the lungs. Mitral regurgitation can be related to age, coronary artery disease, underlying heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy) or a birth defect.
 
 
The MitraClip device is a small clip that is attached to the mitral valve. It treats mitral regurgitation by allowing the mitral valve to close more completely, helping to restore normal blood flow through the heart. Using the MitraClip technique, access to the heart is via a small incision in the groin and the mitral valve is repaired through a catheter inserted via the femoral vein. The procedure usually takes between two and three hours immediately reduces mitral regurgitation.
 
Dr Smith said: “After 48 hours, they have a significant improvement. MitraClip is associated with symptomatic improvement in 90 to 95 per cent of patients. It’s proven to be good at relieving symptoms and can generally be performed at low risk of serious complication.”
 
Dr Robert Smith will perform this procedure at Arab Health 2020 on Tuesday, 28 January at 12.30 – 2.00pm on the ABHI stand located in the UK Pavilion, Hall 2 – H2G30.
 
Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care has a strong and long-established relationship with the Middle East. Known across the world over for its expertise, standard of care and research success in lung and heart disease, Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care operates a visiting doctor programme with key hospitals across the Middle East region. The programme helps to provide better clinical outcomes and strengthen relationships with the region’s healthcare providers.  
 
Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care provide patients with rapid access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and outpatient facilities in the Harley Street medical area.  In-patients can benefit from advanced treatment facilities in their private wards situated within the main hospital buildings. 
 
Each facility has a dedicated concierge service and international liaison officers who provide support to overseas patients and their families, paying particular attention to their cultural, religious and language needs. -- Tradearabia News Service
 



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