Queensland cardiologists perform world-first heart valve replacement

19 July 2022

The cardiology and cardiac surgical team at The Wesley Hospital are the first in the world to successfully perform a transcatheter heart valve replacement with a new cardiac implant.

Site Lead Investigators Dr Anthony Camuglia, Dr Chris Cole and Dr Sam Hayman performed the minimally-invasive heart valve replacement procedure at The Wesley Hospital earlier this year, as part of a multicentre international clinical trial, spanning the UK, Europe and The US.

The team at The Wesley were the first in the world to implant the iteratively-designed prosthetic valve, in a patient considered too high-risk to undergo a traditional open-heart operative approach.

Dr Camuglia said the new type of mitral valve is a breakthrough for patients who previously had limited traditional treatment options.

“For many years we have provided the transcatheter mitral valve repair clip procedure, via a vein in the leg, for patients with a leaking incompetent mitral valve who are unsuitable for open chest surgery. But there are many patients who are not well-suited to either of these options.

“The ability to implant a bioprosthetic mitral valve via keyhole minimally invasive technique, through a vein in the groin, is a major step forward,” Dr Camuglia said.

The Wesley Hospital patient Wendy Deering, had gradually been declining with symptoms of a failing heart and was at high risk of complications with standard open-heart techniques.

“I wasn’t suitable for open heart surgery, and wasn’t eligible for other options. Dr Camuglia said ‘we’ve got this research trial – I think you’d be a good candidate for it’.

“I was over the moon when I found out I was accepted into the trial. I feel very privileged.

“Staff in here have been so good to me. I was in intensive care for one day and back on the ward by the next morning - they have been marvellous.”

National Lead Interventional Cardiologist, Professor Stephen Worthley, said: “We are proud of our long-standing research partnerships, culminating in the world-first procedure at The Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.”

“We are very excited to see where the rest of the study leads us and we look forward to continuing to partner with the structural heart team at The Wesley Hospital to improve the lives of thousands of Australians with mitral valve disease.”

Dr Camuglia said the maturity and scope of the cardiac program at The Wesley Hospital allows Queenslanders to be among the first in the world to access innovative life-saving cardiac therapies, with The Wesley fostering cutting-edge contemporary cardiac services over decades.

“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 or survived.”

General Manager of The Wesley Hospital Mr Sean Hubbard said The Wesley Hospital’s expert cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and imaging specialists are proud to be leading the way with this world first procedure.

“Our Structural Heart Program offers access to the latest research and innovations, so that we can focus on lower risk and better outcomes for our patients.”

Media Enquiries
General: wesley.media@uchealth.com.au
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