Transaortic Valve Insertion (TAVI)

TAVI also known as Transaortic Valve insertion was discovered back in 2002 by Alan. Since its discovery, the two devices namely Aortic and the CoreValve have gone down in size.

Transaortic Valve insertion (TAVI) was seen as the breakthrough of century that could cure a life threatening heart disease by using an invasive technique. It is referred to those patients who are either too old or whose medical condition doesn’t allow them to go for typical operation.

Nearly 40,000 patients have gone through the procedure with a high risk to failure which is still a matter of debate among doctors. It is said that nearly 3% of people who are above 75 have aortic valve malfunctioning which means that in England only there are more than 100000 patients. This signifies the importance of TAVI and its origin.

Procedure

Before deciding on whether one will be benefitted from TAVI or not, few tests will be run by the doctor like angiogram, CT scan, echocardiogram and electrocardiogram. Once approved for TAVI, a TAVI coordinator will in touch with the family members of the patient.

On the day of operation, the patient will be admitted to the hospital and taken to the cardiac catheterisation lab after a consent form has been signed. General anaesthesia will be given to the patient and a team of doctors will operate the patient which will include a cardiac surgeon, an interventional cardiologist and a cardiac anaesthetist. By using the process of X-ray, a catheter will be guided to the aortic valve in the heart.

When the right position is reached, a new valve will be exchanged with the old valve and the new valve will start functioning. After operation, the patient is monitored for at least 24 hours in the ICU.

 

General Protocols

  • Giving the patient anaesthesia is the first and the foremost protocol which hospital authorities obey
  • Selection of patient is done on his or her survival rate
  • It is extremely important for doctors to locate the exact position of the old valve inside the heart and replace it with the new one
  • A consent form is made to sign by family members in case of an emergency

 

Risks Involved and Complaints

It is advised to take antibiotics before the surgery is performed to minimise the risk of developing infection due to valve in the heart. Medications should be checked before coming to hospital and in case of pain, doctor should be immediately contacted. Whether the technique will be suitable for those have less risk involved in aortic treatment still remains a question.

Maximum no of operations carried out so far haven’t been able to get justified due to medical reasons or cost effectiveness constraints. In many cases, the patients undergo a lot of stress and die due to cardiac arrest; care must be taken to ensure a great level of communication between the patient and family members before and after the operation. Any adverse effect after the operation should be treated seriously.