For the first time in Pune, an 87-year-old man and a 78-year-old woman got their damaged heart valves replaced with prosthetic valves, without undergoing surgery, at the Poona Hospital and Research Centre.
In both cases, a small puncture in the groin was used to guide an artificial heart valve all the way to the heart through femoral artery. The entire procedure was carried out under local anaesthesia.
This is claimed to be the first time that a Pune-based cardiologist has carried out the procedure Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Procedure (TAVR) at a city hospital.
According to reports, both patients are doing well. Dr Suhas Hardas, Cardiologist at Poona Hospital said that the patients often observed breathlessness, palpitation and chest pain, for the past 5 to 6 years. Their problems are now resolved. “Barring a small dose of blood thinner, they are off most symptomatic medications,” he added.
The procedure is unaffordable for many patients. “Cost is the biggest deterrent. The cost of the procedure with an imported valve can be between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 30 lakh. It may come down by lakhs of rupees if an India-made valve is used,” Hardas said. “Most importantly, a paradigm shift is taking place towards offering less invasive, less mutilating and safer cardiac procedures which are scar-free and well tolerated even in old patients,” Hardas added.