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Game-changing procedure as alternative to open heart surgery

December 2017


Cardiologists Dr David Smyth and Dr James Blake

St George’s Hospital, working with leading cardiologists, now offers the life-saving Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) procedure.

TAVI is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that repairs the aortic valve without a patient having to undergo open heart surgery.

Instead of removing the damaged or diseased valve, a replacement valve is wedged inside the failing valve, making it a viable option for intermediate or high risk patients with aortic stenosis.

“We are proud to be offering TAVI at St George’s Hospital,” said St George’s Chief Executive Greg Brooks.

“We are committed to offering services that dramatically improve the quality of our patients’ lives.”

Cardiologist Dr David Smyth, together with cardiologist Dr James Blake, has performed three successful TAVI procedures on patients in their 70s and 80s at St George’s Hospital since TAVI was introduced in September.

“Because the procedure involves inserting a device through the leg instead of opening up the chest and operating on the heart, patients can be up and out of bed the very next day,” said Dr Smyth. 

“Patients benefit from shorter recovery times. We’ve seen great results using TAVI on elderly patients for whom heart surgery is simply not an option or too risky.”

Recovery typically involves spending a night in hospital, after which patients can often resume their everyday activities.


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