In cooperation with the University of Frankfurt/Germany and TOBB ETÜ Cardiac team offers less invasive heart valve replacement. The multidisciplinary valve team is offering transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), a recently approved approach to replace diseased aortic valves. Traditional valve replacement requires open-heart surgery with a lengthy recovery, which may be too rigorous for some elderly patients or those with co-morbidities who cannot endure the procedure.
During the TAVI procedure, the team accesses a leg artery, performs balloon dilation of the diseased aortic valve, and then advances a new heart valve across the diseased valve. The new heart valve, which is mounted on a metal frame, is then expanded into its permanent position.
“This is a real game-changer for the field of cardiovascular surgery,” said Dr. Tayfun Aybek, director of the Cardiovascular Surgery Department and Chief of „Heart Team“. “We’ll be able to perform life-saving surgery for people who were previously considered inoperable or high risk. This is an incredible step forward as, prior to this advance, there was nothing we could offer to help these very sick patients.”
The ground-breaking PARTNER trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated the benefits of TAVI. In this study, 358 patients with severe aortic stenosis, who were unable to undergo surgery, were randomized to TAVI or the standard therapy of balloon aortic valvuloplasty. TAVI decreased mortality after one year by 45 percent.
To support this technology, the TOBB ETÜ Heart Center created the „Heart Team“ a multidisciplinary team of experts in cardiovascular surgery, interventional cardiology, cardiac imaging, cardiac anesthesiology, and special educated technical assiastance – dedicated to providing superior care for patients with advanced aortic valve disease.
In addition, an operating room was renovated and upgraded to accommodate the procedure. A hybrid of a traditional surgical space and a cardiac catheterization suite, it is equipped with enhanced imaging technology to provide greater visualization for the team.
“This new procedure has the potential to revolutionize cardiac surgery and our patients will benefit tremendously,” said Dr. Tayfun Aybek.