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KUALA LUMPUR, December 31 — Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) made history today after being the first hospital in Asean region to successfully implant an advanced man-made heart valve in a patient.
The patient is an 83-year-old with severe aortic stenosis who has been experiencing shortness of breath and pain due to her condition.
The man-made heart valve is called Myval and is made of biological tissue designed to be used for those who require Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), which is a new procedure often used to treat patients with aortic stenosis.
The patient successfully completed her TAVI at 10.45am this morning.
Aortic stenosis is one of the most prevalent heart diseases in the developed world and often develops due to age.
It is a condition where the opening of the heart’s aortic valve becomes narrowed which could restrict blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body whilst causing greater strain on the heart.
Symptoms may not be seen immediately but patients will eventually experience effects such as breathlessness, chest pains and blackouts and if it were left untreated, aortic stenosis can lead to heart failures and deaths.
Even though the common treatment for aortic stenosis is open-heart surgery, 30 per cent of patients cannot go through with the common treatment due to risk factors such as underlying conditions and age.
However, the TAVI procedure has proven to be a minimally invasive alternative to treat the condition as it is more efficient and is also associated with faster recovery rates as well as less pain and trauma.
According to IJN senior consultant cardiologist, Dr Shaiful Azmi Yahaya, with the new addition of the Myval device, it will enable doctors to carry out the procedure with greater precision.
“For instance, one significant benefit of this device is ‘navigator delivery system’, which enables the surgeon to guide the valve into the heart more efficiently.
“By improving the accuracy of this valve implantation, we can also reduce the patient’s chances of requiring a pacemaker later on.
“Continuous innovation is what we need to keep doing what IJN does best; adopt the latest yet safest technology to improve the lives of our patients,” Dr Shaiful said in a press release.
IJN has been a pioneer of TAVI regionally and the first centre in Asia to introduce the procedure.
Since 2009, IJN has successfully carried out TAVI with a multidisciplinary team comprising cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, anaesthetists and paramedical staff.