Edmonton the first in ground breaking heart procedure

Edmonton is taking the lead in Alberta becoming the first to perform a revolutionary heart procedure.

Three patients have undergone the groundbreaking procedure which offers hope to patients unable to cope with open and invasive surgery.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) involves inserting a manufactured valve the size of a quarter into the heart, replacing the patient’s failing aortic valve.

It is a much less intrusive procedure, as the valve is delivered through a catheter compared to open heart surgery where it is delivered through the chest.

The first procedure was performed in Edmonton mid May, with all three operations successful.

Two of the three patients returned home within just two days.

Cardiac surgeon with AHS and the University of Alberta, Steven Meyer, said before he would have to turn down a lot of high risk patients, or proceed with extreme caution in the hopes to get them through the surgery.

"This procedure means we can help those patients, giving them the quantity of life and, most importantly, quality of life."

"We’re not only making people live longer but we’re making them feel better," he said.

In the past patients deemed too high of risk for open heart surgery had to travel to Vancouver for the TAVI procedure.


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