[Exclusive] This New Heart Procedure Can Disrupt CVD Treatment: Journey Of TAVR In India

[Exclusive] This New Heart Procedure Can Disrupt CVD Treatment: Journey Of TAVR In India
[Exclusive] This New Heart Procedure Can Disrupt CVD Treatment: Journey Of TAVR In India

This is a Guest Post by Dr. Ganesh Kumar AV, Consultant in Interventional Cardiology & TAVR Specialist.

A highly advanced heart procedure is all set to disrupt the Cardiovascular Disorder treatment space in India. TAVR – Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is a modern, minimally invasive valve replacement procedure for the treatment of Aortic Valve Stenosis.

Heart diseases, medically referred to as Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs), are one of the primary health concerns of India. According to one report, 75 % Indians below the age of 50 are at a risk of heart attack.

Several factors can contribute to the development of CVDs in people like a sedentary lifestyle, a genetic predisposition, high blood sugar etc.

Among the most common CVDs, is a condition called Aortic Valve Stenosis, in which the aortic valve, responsible for blood flow to the rest of the body, doesn’t fully open, thus reducing or blocking blood flow to the body. Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis can lead to death.

In India, over 60 lakhs cases of Aortic Stenosis have been reported. India is one of the hubs for both rheumatic and non-rheumatic Aortic Stenosis.

Previously, the only option for the treatment of Aortic Valve Stenosis used to be Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR), also called open heart surgery for aortic stenosis, in which the chest cavity needed to be opened and the functioning of the heart had to be temporarily switched over to machine, while a team of surgeons operated on the organ. While effective, this is a highly invasive procedure and requires intensive post-surgical care and takes a huge toll on the body, particularly in the case of older patients.

In TAVR, the valve is inserted into the heart via a small blood vessel in the leg using advanced imaging techniques, thus eliminating the need to open the chest cavity. TAVR requires a shorter hospital stay, a considerably shorter surgery time, causes minimal discomfort and provides an overall better quality of life. 

The first TAVR in India was performed on an eighty-year-old female patient in 2011 with severe Aortic Stenosis where she was denied a surgery in view of high comorbidities.  This has since then given hope to many who were looking for less invasive procedure that would help the patients get treated for their prevailing conditions. In India, we don’t have enough epidemiological studies, which can assess the actual burden of Aortic Stenosis. Most of the patients from a larger perspective are eligible for TAVR. Since the first TAVR case in India, we have seen a lot of progress in terms of the advanced technique so called TAVR and its uptake for the procedure. This trend is being witnessed not only in metro cities but even in tier II and tier III cities where elderly patients are opting for this newline of treatment.

TAVR in most of the cases has become the standard care for treatment of aortic valve stenosis, which provides a safe alternative in senior citizens. The acceptance of TAVR can go manifold once there is enough awareness created about the procedure.

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