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Clinical Specialties - Cardiac

TAVI (Trans Catheter Aortic Valve Implantation)

TAVI and the San Heart Team

During 2015, the Sydney Adventist Hospitals' specialist cardiac team commenced a procedure called TAVI (Trans Catheter Aortic Valve Implantation). This procedure involves the cardiologist and the heart team replacing the aortic valve of the heart through the blood vessels, rather than through open heart surgery.

TAVI involves the replacement of the aortic valve by inserting a catheter (hollow tube) with a balloon at its tip in to an artery in the groin and then the catheter is passed into the heart and positioned within the opening of the aortic valve. The balloon is then gently inflated to make room for the new tissue valve which is placed in position. The new valve either expands by itself or is expanded using the balloon, depending on which type of valve is used. The balloon is then deflated before the balloon and catheter are removed. The new valve now sits inside the damaged valve.

Patients that are possible candidates for TAVI are well screened by a specialised multi-disciplinary San 'heart team' made up of a general cardiologist, an interventional cardiologist, a cardiothoracic surgeon, a cardiology anaesthetist, a radiology CT imaging expert, a vascular specialist and depending on circumstances an intensivist or a geriatrician to provide an aged care opinion. This collective team of specialists meet to discuss every individual case and its appropriateness for the TAVI procedure. Based on imaging results and the collective knowledge of all the experts, a decision is made as to whether TAVI or another type of surgical procedure would provide the best outcome for the patient.

Generally it is expected that patients will be able to get out of bed with assistance the following day and whilst there will be some discomfort managed by pain medication, it is likely patients will be able to return home within the week. Full recovery will probably take approximately 2-3 months. 

The San is one of only a few private hospitals in Sydney that has an experienced heart team accredited to conduct TAVI procedures.


Cardiologists conducting TAVI procedures at the San

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Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical Specialties and Services