Treating Aortic Stenosis with TAVI: A revolution in minimally invasive surgeries

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Nearly a quarter of all deaths in India is due to cardiovascular diseases as per the Global Burden of Diseases which offers a powerful resource to understand the changing health challenges facing people across the world in the 21st century.

There are certain cardiac conditions like Aortic Stenosis, one such heart valve disease that occurs when the blood flow is restricted from the left ventricle to the aorta. When this happens, the rest of the body is unable to get the blood that it requires because the aorta doesn’t receive it. This condition if not corrected on time can lead to various serious complications such as heart failure and, in certain cases, sudden cardiac death as well. This condition can be mild or severe. Symptoms generally occur when the valve is severely narrowed. Some people with aortic valve stenosis may not observe any symptoms for many years. This condition can be congenital or may develop in the later stages of life.

Possible symptoms of aortic valve stenosis may include:

o An irregular heartbeato Swollen ankles and feeto Chest pain or a feeling of discomfort/tightness in the chest with activityo Dizziness or fainting during activitieso Shortness of breatho Unexplained fatigueo Rapid, fluttering heartbeat or palpitationso Inadequate appetite (mainly in children with aortic valve stenosis)o Not gaining enough weight (mainly in children with aortic valve stenosis)

In India, one in 40 people aged 75 and older have severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis. For these people, open-heart surgery is considered a high-risk procedure due to the potential complications stemming from age, frailty, or multiple other diseases or conditions. With the advancement in scientific research and medical technology, different minimally invasive procedures are being introduced to treat such complicated diseases in a safer and simpler way. With these technologically advanced procedures, now patients don’t have to compromise on their quality-of-life post-surgery.

TAVI or transcatheter aortic valve implantation is a viable option for patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis, especially those who have high surgical risk. After a transcatheter procedure, a vast majority of our patients can go home in a couple of days. What is especially good for physicians is the flexible catheter enabling excellent deliverability even in patients with complex anatomies. Prior to TAVI, the standard of care for severe aortic stenosis was surgical aortic valve replacement, but not all patients were candidates for open-heart surgery.

TAVI (Transcatheter aortic valve implantation) serves as a less invasive alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement and can reduce symptoms and improve the lives of patients with this debilitating condition. The Navitor valve is advancing TAVI (also referred to as TAVR, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement) therapies with innovations including a unique design to prevent blood leaking around the valve. The Navitor TAVI offers physicians and patients less invasive options to treat heart diseases. The aim of the improved minimally invasive technologies or devices is to ensure better clinical outcomes, shorter hospital stays, and quicker recovery.

The author is an Interventional and Structural Cardiologist, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, and Chairman RHL Heart Centre & Head Complex Angioplasty. Views are personl.

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