WINNIPEG – Over 100 lives have been saved in Winnipeg thanks to a relatively new heart procedure.
It’s called a ‘transcatheter aortic valve implantation’, or TAVI for short.
It’s been available in Winnipeg since 2012, and the milestone 100th procedure was done last month.
Dr. Malek Kass is a cardiologist with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and tells 680 CJOB how it works.
“You put a little knick in the leg, in the right side or left side in the artery. We put a special valve that’s small inside the old valve and deploy the new valve in it. Instantaneously, the new valve starts working. It’s quite a phenomenal procedure.”
Kass adds that since TAVI is minimally invasive, it can be performed on those who are too frail for open-heart surgery.
“We’ve done most of our patients in the last year awake, and a lot of them can feel the first breath after the valve goes in, they already feel better.”
He also says those who benefit the most are the ‘healthy elderly,’ who would not do well with a typical cardiac surgery but would do well with a less-invasive way of fixing their problem.