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General News

World-Class Cardiac Services at London Bridge Hospital

16 May 2011

At London Bridge Hospital we provide a wide range of diagnostics and treatments for cardiac patients. Our cardiac services are recognised nationally and internationally for clinical expertise, rapid assessment and customised care, incorporating various specialist units, catheter labs and theatres.

Operating on an integrated basis, our highly skilled team facilitate a range of cardiac services, which have now expanded to include Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), a relatively new treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis.

TAVI was first performed at London Bridge Hospital in May 2009 as an alternative to standard surgical aortic valve replacement. The procedure is performed on the beating heart without the need for a sternotomy (an incision in the centre of the chest) or cardiopulmonary bypass (which takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery).

The TAVI procedure involves a new valve being inserted via a catheter into the heart. The catheter can be inserted into the body through the femoral artery, found in the groin. Alternatively, it can be inserted directly into the apex of the heart through a small incision in the chest. This procedure is performed under general anaesthetic. 

TAVI is expanding rapidly across the UK and is a technology that holds enormous potential. It is currently reserved for those patients with multiple comorbidities who are not surgical candidates. The evidence on TAVI for aortic stenosis is limited to small numbers of patients who were considered to be at high risk for conventional cardiac surgery, and it shows good short-term efficacy.

Dr Craig Smith (Columbia University, New York, NY, USA) presented the one-year results from PARTNER, a trial comparing transcatheter valve implantation with surgery for severe aortic stenosis at the American College of Cardiology 2011 Scientific Sessions/i2 Summit:

“These results indicate that [TAVI] is an acceptable alternative to standard aortic valve replacement in selected high-risk operable patients.” Smith concluded, “Future randomised studies should focus on lower-risk patients who are candidates for the operation.”

Kathryn Blacklock-Hind, Staff Development Sister at London Bridge Hospital, said TAVI can have advantages over more traditional surgeries:

“Patients are under general anaesthetic for less amount of time, and TAVI eliminates the need for cardiopulmonary bypass, meaning that recovery time is usually sooner.”

Researchers are awaiting evidence on long-term outcomes as an increasing number of patients opt for the TAVI procedure instead of open heart surgery.

While cardiac services are a key part of the work we do at London Bridge Hospital, we are also recognised world-wide for our expertise in other areas of medicine. We are privileged to be able to offer our patients access to Consultants from some of London’s top teaching hospitals, specialising in all areas of medicine including Oncology, Hepatology, Gastroenterology and Orthopaedics.

For further information, please visit www.londonbridgehospital.com, telephone 020 7407 3100 or email info.lbh@hcahealthcare.co.uk