Trinidad and Tobago believes is has developed a world first for non-surgical heart surgery.
Patients with severe heart problems, particularly tricuspid regurgitation, now have an option other than open heart surgery for treatment which is being acclaimed as a breakthrough.
The Advanced Cardiovascular Institute has assembled a multi-disciplinary team who have successfully done minimally invasive, non-surgical heart procedures to treat valve disease and to review candidates.
Managing director at ACI Christopher Camacho is happy to know patients no longer have to travel abroad to have heart treatment, needing a minimally invasive procedure to treat severe tricuspid regurgitation, as a successful procedure was done in Trinidad.
The procedure involves the implantation of two valves through a small cut in the patient’s upper thigh. They are deployed using catheters and guidewires under X-ray guidance, all conducted in a special procedural room called a catheterization laboratory.
Camacho said: “This is personal to me because my mom passed from valve disease. I saw a patient who was very close to me while I am in the cardiac arena – I know surgeons nationally and internationally – and yet there was no option for her because no surgical option was available. She could not have her valve replaced.
“So seeing how we are maturing to where more and more patients like my mom now have an option here in Trinidad is important. It’s gratifying to me to see us make that step forward as a society.”
The breakthrough procedure was successfully performed for the first time in TT and the Caribbean region on 30 November 2021 at West Shore Private Hospital, Port of Spain.
It was done on a patient suffering from severe tricuspid regurgitation – a leaking heart valve condition associated with severe heart failure – and the patient was showing a promising outcome after six months of medical follow-ups.