First TAVI procedures in Southern Alberta

Alberta Health Services has introduced Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), an innovative method for replacing diseased aortic valves, at both the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. A press release on June 23, 2011 shared news of Dr. Faisal al-Qoofi having conducted the procedure several times over the last number of months in Calgary at the Libin Institute’s Foothills Medical Centre site. Dr. al-Qoofi completed his cardiology training at the Libin Institute in 2006 and returned to Calgary after further training in Chicago.

Click image for Calgary TAVI video

The TAVI procedure can be done one of two ways. The replacement valve, made of cow tissue, can be inserted in the femoral artery, at the groin, then moved through to the chest, pushing the diseased valve out of the way. Surgeons can also insert the valve directly through the tip of heart via a small incision in the chest.

Either way, the procedure takes two to four hours and requires a team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, technologists and an anesthesiologist. Many patients can be safely discharged from hospital three or four days after the procedure, half the time they would spend in hospital following open-heart surgery.

“Our patients are usually very elderly, with multiple medical problems,” says Dr. Mouheiddin (Dean) Traboulsi, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Interventional Cardiology, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, Alberta Health Services Calgary Zone.

“Some of them have absolutely no other option. This is a leading-edge procedure and is a cure without having to undergo major surgery.”

Sample of media coverage:

UCalgary Medicine, Calgary Herald1, Calgary Herald2, CTV, Metro, AHS

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