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Heart Valve Team among the first in UK to carry out complex heart surgery

A complex heart operation performed in few hospitals around the UK has been carried out for the first time at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

The UHCW Heart Valve team successfully completed a hybrid left atrial open access transcatheter mitral valve implantation on 69-year-old Seton Spencer.

Mr Spencer had mitral annular calcification (MAC), a condition where the mitral valve inside the heart becomes leaky and narrowed due to calcium deposits around the edge of the valve, preventing it from functioning normally.

When the calcium deposits surround the valve completely, this condition is often considered inoperable due to the difficulty in placing sutures through the hard calcium when inserting a new mitral valve prosthesis during standard open heart surgery.

Due to recurrent hospital admissions with heart failure, he underwent this novel approach of transcatheter mitral valve implantation.

“We are very pleased with the results and hopefully this approach will be able to help other patients who are otherwise inoperable with standard techniques’’ said Cardiac Surgeon Mr Tom Barker.

A large, multi-specialty team including cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, cardiac imaging specialists, intensive care physicians, nurses, theatre staff, perfusionists and physiotherapists collaborated to successfully perform the procedure.

Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Nishant Gangil, added: “We are delighted to offer cutting-edge treatment to patients through excellent team work and a collaborative approach.

“We have been performing percutaneous transcatheter mitral valve implantations since April 2021 but this case required a hybrid approach of cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists because of the extremely difficult cardiac anatomy. We wish Mr Spencer all the best for his future endeavours.”

Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Luke Tapp, added: “It is a great achievement for the team and motivates us further to achieve excellence in our field of work.”

Mr Spencer, a former chef, went home after spending two weeks on a ward rehabilitating from the three-hour operation.

“The team at UHCW have done a marvellous job,” he said. “I really appreciate what they have done for me.”

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