Minimally invasive heart’s aortic valve procedure becoming popular in Calcutta
A minimally invasive procedure to replace the heart’s aortic valve is becoming popular and cardiologists in Calcutta said elderly people scared to undergo high-risk surgeries are living longer because of the latest technique.
The procedure, called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in the upper leg or chest to replace the defective aortic valve.
An aortic valve can develop problems with age. It can become diseased because of normal wear and tear. Calcium deposits on the walls can also make a valve defunct, doctors said.
“Earlier, the only way to replace a diseased valve was open heart surgery. But it was risky for many patients, especially the aged and those with comorbidities,” said Debdatta Bhattacharyya, an interventional cardiologist and the clinical director of the RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences.
Bhattacharyya recently conducted the procedure on a 75-year-old woman, whose aortic valve had become defective because of calcium deposits.
“The minimally invasive procedure usually requires a patient to stay at the hospital for about two days. An open heart surgery, on the other hand, requires 10 to 14 days’ hospitalisation,” Bhattacharya said.
“Patients always prefer a shorter stay at the hospital, especially so during a pandemic. That is another reason why patients in need of valve replacement are opting for this procedure.”
Cardiologist Rabin Chakraborty said many elderly patients or those with medical conditions could not undergo surgery because of the risks associated with anaesthesia.
“The only way to treat them was with medicines but the prognosis is not good. TAVI provides longer life for such patients,” he said.
Doctors, however, said the procedure was effective for people above 65.
They said the tissue valve used for the procedure has a lifespan of about 10 years. The metallic valve used during the open heart surgery has a longer lifespan.