Interventional Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside performs Queensland-first heart procedure

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13 November 2019

Interventional Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside performed the BASILICA operation combined with a SENTINEL™ Cerebral Protection System for the first time in Queensland.

A procedure that has only been performed in the last few years; with just 30 patients reported in a global study recently published by the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The procedure offers a preventative solution to coronary artery obstruction during Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR); increasing treatment options for high-risk patients who need heart valve procedures.

Mrs Edna Stuart, 91, identified as one of these patients and felt confident going into the operation.

“I’ve had a few operations. You go into it and think to yourself well here goes; we’ll give this a try… and I’m so glad that I did,” Mrs Stuart said.

Interventional Cardiologist Prof Darren Walters performed the operation alongside Visiting Prof Danny Dvir, Anaesthetist Dr Daniel Dallimore and Cardiologists A/Prof Con Aroney and Dr Lisa Walters.

“It can be life-changing for patients at high-risk of developing coronary artery obstruction during a TAVR,” Prof Walters said.

The procedure involves the interventional cardiologist puncturing an electrified wire the size of a sewing needle through the base of the damaged heart valve leaflet. The wire is again electrified to split the original leaflet in half so that it can no longer block the main coronary artery. A new transcatheter heart valve is then inserted. Cerebral protection filters were used to protect the brain from debris during the TAVR procedure.

“Using the SENTINEL™ Cerebral Protection System helps increase the safety of the TAVR for the patient,” Prof Walters said.

The day following the procedure, Mrs Stuart was able to walk and discharged from hospital only a few days later to continue recovery with her husband at home. Mrs Stuart will commence a cardiac rehabilitation program as part of ongoing care and treatment in December.