October 28, 2014 12:29 am
Updated: August 6, 2016 2:19 am

Vancouver heart procedure set for international trial


WATCH: Chalk up another medical breakthrough to BC doctors, who have further perfected their own method for replacing heart valves. Elaine Yong reports.

A heart procedure pioneered at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital could allow people to avoid open-heart surgery and massively cut down on recovery times.

Called the Vancouver 3M Clinical Pathway, the procedure involves inserting a new valve into people’s hearts by way of a catheter.

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According to Dr. David Wood, a standard aortic valve replacement keeps a patient in the hospital for up to two weeks, and away from work for up to three months.

But the 3M Clinical Pathway, which is about to be tested in a North America-wide study of 1200 patients, takes less than an hour and has a full recovery time of under a week.

The first test took place in Vancouver today on Theresa Stickley, a sister at a Squamish monastery. The 83-year-old rejected open heart surgery, but was convinced to try the new procedure.

Awake the entire time – and watched by dozens of clinicians on livestream – Stickley was grateful for the new lease on life.

“I think I have a few years to help the sisters, help the monastery. Do some work, do some dishes,” she said.

“It’s really wonderful. It’s going to help others, and that’s the thing.”

© 2014 Shaw Media

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