A SPECIALIST centre that treats patients too ill for open-heart surgery is making a real difference, a leading doctor claims.
The centre at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh was created for carrying out lifesaving surgery to replace faulty heart valves.
Seven patients have undergone the transcatheter aortic valve implantation (Tavi) procedure since it was established in September.
Dr Neal Uren, clinical director for cardiac services in NHS Lothian, said: “The service has begun making a real difference to the lives of patients already, and we are delighted to see how well they have recovered.”
Before the centre was created, patients had to travel out of Scotland for the procedure.
Tavi, considered less invasive than open-heart surgery, involves a replacement valve being passed through a hole in the groin and advanced up to the ascending aorta.
Dr Uren said that without Tavi, patients would not have been able to undergo treatment.
He said: “A total of seven people have undergone this groundbreaking procedure and we are delighted to be leading the Scottish service.