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Patient stories

Thanks to a life-changing operation, Joan won’t waste a moment

Imagine knowing that you have a heart issue that could see you going into arrest at any moment. For two years Joan lived with that fear after her cardiologist told her that she had a serious issue with her heart – but open heart surgery would be too risky due to her other health issues. Fortunately – after two years - Joan was found to be an excellent candidate for TAVI - a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.

TAVI is used to treat severe Aortic Stenosis, a condition in which the aortic valve becomes narrowed, obstructing the outflow of blood from the heart and thereby requiring the heart to work harder to pump blood around the body.
TAVI is a procedure performed using the Edwards Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve (THV), an artificial heart valve designed to be inserted into your heart so that it holds open and replaces your diseased aortic valve. It consists of a metal stent (made of steel or cobalt-chromium) which secures the device in its intended position inside your own valve, and valve leaflets (made of biological material derived from cows) to direct the flow of blood out of your heart.
TAVI now offers effective treatment to patients who are at high risk for conventional open heart surgery. It is also intended to prevent further damage to the heart from Aortic Stenosis and to prolong life, which medical therapy cannot do.
Joan’s operation was in 2015 and with a quick recovery, she now enjoys a busy life in her beachside suburb with husband Lance. She lives life to the full playing bowls, helping at the nursing home, feeding her native birds and tending to their lovely leafy garden.
“I live life to the full but I owe my heart to the Prince of Wales Hospital,” said Joan.
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