Milestone reached in ground-breaking heart valve implant procedure
The Royal Hobart Hospital’s (RHH) cardiology team has reached an impressive milestone in the delivery of a ground-breaking procedure that is providing world-class heart care for Tasmanian patients.
Earlier this month, the team delivered its 300th transcatheter aortic value implantation – known as a TAVI – since the first procedure was carried out in Tasmania in 2020. Before this time, patients were required to travel interstate for the procedure.
A TAVI is carried out to improve the blood flow in the heart by replacing an aortic valve that doesn’t open fully and can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and blackouts – and if left untreated, can be fatal.
Patients receive the implant via a 45-minute keyhole procedure through the groin under local anaesthetic and light sedation. The vast majority of patients are able to be discharged home the next day.
The RHH cardiology unit has received national recognition as a centre of excellence in Australia for TAVI outcomes after publishing the first Australian data on the safety, efficacy and efficiency of next day discharge post-procedure.
The RHH has also been recognised as the fastest public hospital in the country to perform 100 procedures within the first 12 months of commencing the procedure.
RHH cardiologist Dr Heath Adams has been integral to the TAVI program, learning how to perform the procedure as a fellow in London at St Thomas Hospital and leading rollout of the procedure upon his return to Tasmania in 2020.
The procedure is a big team effort requiring the expertise of cardiologists, radiographers, anaesthetists, theatre and ward nurses, and many more health professionals – as well as diagnosis and referral from our GPs.
Tasmania’s ageing population and high prevalence of cardiovascular disease means the demand for a TAVI is anticipated to increase over the next decade, which the RHH cardiology team is ready to meet.
Tasmanians experiencing symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, new fatigue or blackouts should see their doctor to have their heart listened to with a stethoscope.
Pictured: Dr Heath Adams (RHH Interventional Cardiologist), John McCoy (patient), Mandy Burley (RHH Nurse Unit Manager), Marea Pickering (RHH Registered Nurse)