Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implementation

MUH TAVI Festival 2018. Congratulations to our TAVI team, who recently performed the highest number of TAVI surgeries in Australia in one week!

To make an appointment please call 0491 215 002

What is TAVI?

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implementation (TAVI) is revolutionary in the treatment of aortic stenosis (AS). People, for whom open surgery is no longer an option, can have this minimally invasive procedure, regaining quality of life and levels of fitness that they might not have experienced for years. In the coming years, TAVI will become the norm for treating AS – not just for the elderly but for people of all ages.

“This is a proven alternative to surgery that is especially beneficial for older patients and those with multiple other medical problems,” says Dr Jason Kaplan, Head of MQ Health’s Structural Heart Program. “More than ten years of robust data now demonstrate TAVI is as effective as traditional open surgical valve replacement for appropriate patients.”

AS is the most common form of valvular heart disease, especially in older patients where it affects about 1 in 10 Australians over the age of 75.

TAVI at Macquarie University Hospital

Macquarie University Hospital was the first private hospital in New South Wales to conduct TAVI. It is now the busiest TAVI centre in New South Wales and its surgeons are the most experienced in delivering this advanced surgical procedure.  The Hospital has invested significantly in its TAVI program, which has become a full comprehensive diagnostic, surgical and recovery service getting outstanding results for patients.

“With TAVI, there is a clear volume-outcome relationship that is well-demonstrated in the literature,” says Professor Martin Ng, who performs all TAVI procedures at Macquarie University Hospital, along with Professor Michael Wilson. The team is actively engaged in TAVI clinical trials and has published extensively on the procedure and patient outcomes.

Macquarie University Hospital’s TAVI team is unique in NSW with every procedure being attended by an interventional cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon. This provides a high level of care and expertise to perform the procedure safely. The procedure is performed in our state-of-the-art hybrid operating suite. TAVI patients are cared for post-operatively in our outstanding ICU and specialised cardiology nurses and other support staff.

The TAVI team at Macquarie University Hospital is also innovative. It was the first to use TAVI in congenital heart disease and in conjunction with by-pass surgery, and has developed approaches using alternative access routes where the femoral artery is not viable.

The TAVI Clinic

Currently, Macquarie University Hospital is unique in having the TAVI Clinic in Australia. The Clinic brings together all TAVI specialists in a single location where they meet and assess patients for TAVI. A range of specialists come together to review patients to determine their suitability for the procedure. The single location also saves time and reduces stress for elderly or very sick patients. Importantly, patients are reviewed by a cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon and clinical nurse manager, receiving a balanced view of their case and the best possible treatment options.

Multidisciplinary Team Approach

Regular multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings are a vital part of the success of the TAVI program. Every TAVI patient is discussed by a TAVI MDT meeting, which allows comprehensive review and ongoing care for each individual patient. Cardiologists, surgeons, anaesthetists, radiologists, geriatricians, nursing staff, physiotherapists, intensive care specialists and other support staff can all form part of a patient’s MDT.

Our rigorous MDT approach to TAVI is one of the keys to the program’s success, which has allowed us to achieve the same or better results than in current international registries.

Supported by the MBS

In 2017, TAVI was given a Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) item number, making the treatment more accessible for suitable patients. The formal MBS item number for TAVI and re-imbursement for the prosthesis significantly reduces the cost previously associated with the procedure.