Queensland cardiologists perform state-first heart valve replacement surgery

30 November 2019


A team of GenesisCare cardiologists and their surgical colleagues at The Wesley Hospital are the first team in Queensland, and among the first in the world, to successfully perform a new type of heart valve replacement surgery.

Using a new transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) system, Navitor TM , the team implanted the new artificial valve to treat aortic valve stenosis, a debilitating heart disease.

Senior Interventional Cardiologist Dr Anthony Camuglia said the valve eliminates the need for open heart surgery for high-risk patients, with a new design that has many advantages over previous valves:

“The artificial valve has been modified from its original design to include an outer cuff to reduce blood flow back to the heart, improving long-term performance of the valve.

“For patients, this means a shorter recovery time, and fewer issues with a leaking valve which can cause problems with breathlessness in the future.”

Aortic valve stenosis occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows, which prevents the valve from opening fully and blocks blood flow from the heart into the main artery and the rest of the body.

“Patients may suffer from severe breathlessness, chest pain and fatigue from the serious condition. If left untreated, aortic valve stenosis can lead to heart failure and in some cases can prove fatal,” said Dr Camuglia.

Dr Camuglia said GenesisCare and The Wesley Hospital have made sure that Queenslanders are among the first in the world to access the new technology.

“Ever since we started our Structural Heart Program at The Wesley, we’ve aimed to involve ourselves in research, accessing the most up-to-date technology for our patients. As a result, we can access cutting-edge care for our patients, not just for transcatheter aortic valves, but we’re also involved in research studies in other areas including mitral valves,” said Dr Camuglia.

“Being involved in these trials, allows access to technology to help  treat patients who either didn’t have an option for treatment in the past  or whose only option was relatively high-risk open heart surgery, that they may not have recovered very well from.”

“This new technology is a step forward in the way we can treat patients, with lower risk and better outcomes - giving Queenslanders early access to world class treatment.”

The surgery is part of a new clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of the Navitor TM  transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) system to treat aortic valve stenosis. GenesisCare is running the trial at The Wesley Hospital in Brisbane and is part of a larger multi-national study being run across Australia, Europe and North America. The Wesley Hospital is the only site in Queensland invited to be involved in the study.


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