A cardiology team of Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital led by Professor Yoon Seok Koh succeeded in the nation’s first Transcarotid Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) on a patient who suffered from severe aortic stenosis.
Normally, TAVI is a procedure that inserts a catheter into a large blood vessel like the femoral artery of the thigh, but this 88-year old patient was unable to get this treatment due to the fact that her femoral artery, aorta, and subclavian artery were all blocked. In response, Professor Koh carefully examined overseas cases in order to save the patient and succeeded in the procedure through carotid arteries for the country’s first time. After the procedure, the patient returned to her daily life in good condition and was confirmed that her heart was beating properly on her second follow-up visit.
“We had to make a decision urgently because we found that calcification of the patient’s valve was in progress and if we didn’t conduct TAVI right away, we could have lost her,” said Professor Koh.
TAVI is a high-level procedure that inserts a tissue valve into the heart using a catheter after inserting a conduit into the artery. As it is not open-heart surgery, blood transfusion is not necessary, and the risk of aftereffects such as severe stroke is very low. If the doctor uses Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE), it can proceed with regional anesthesia, not general anesthesia, and the length of the procedure can be reduced to about an hour and a half. Therefore, this procedure is suitable for patients with underlying diseases or elderly patients.
Professor Koh is one of the famous authorities in treating structural heart disease such as heart valve disease. He conducts more than 300 different vascular and intervention cases every year and has performed more than 200 TAVI cases.
By Jonghun Im, Int’l Cooperation Team, HUMC (firstname.lastname@example.org)