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Region’s first: Health City surgeons complete complex heart procedure

Surgeons at Health City Cayman Islands are celebrating another milestone for the two-year old hospital.

A team of cardiologists completed the region’s first TAVI procedure, a complex, minimally invasive alternative to conventional open-heart surgery.

“Please understand: this is a very high-risk procedure, it’s done in extremely sick patients,” said Dr. Ravi Kishore, Senior Cardiologist at HCCI.

According to HCCI, a 75 year old local woman with a history of recurring heart failure admissions proved the ideal patient for the region’s first TAVI procedure.

“The most important risk factor in her was her extreme frailty, and we decided to offer the alternative procedure,” said Dr. Ravi.

Dr. Ravi told cayman 27 the TAVI procedure, trans-catheter aortic valve implantation, is only for patients not suited for traditional open heart surgery.

In the procedure, surgeons enter the body through an artery in the groin with a catheter, eventually installing a replacement aortic valve made of a titanium alloy and pig’s heart tissue.

“It looks very simple, the animation, but at every step when we get access to the groin artery, the next step is pushing the wire through extremely diseased pipes in the body and finally when we place the valve in the orifice we are actually producing a kind of cardiac arrest, the blood supply just stood for a transient while,” said Dr. Ravi.

Doctors said the installation of the new valve took just a few heartbeats, but the the entire procedure took about two hours.

Dr. Ravi said it showcases the capabilities of HCCI’s entire cardiac team.

“It firmly establishes the competency of Health City’s cardiovascular team in handling complex procedures,” said Dr. Ravi.

And as for the patient, Dr. Ravi told Cayman 27 she is already experiencing improved quality of life.

“The component of chronic disease has been abated for the time being, so in that sense the nourishment should improve, the nutritional status should improve, ahead of one her quality of life is fantastic, it has taken a dramatic turnaround compared to what she was two weeks back,” said Dr. Ravi.

The replacement valves can last up to 15 years.

HCCI said the procedure can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $110,000 US dollars here, but in the states, patients can expect to pay three to five times that amount for the same surgery.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to josephavary@hurleysmedia.ky

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