Small device helps to save lives locally

by MedicMall Admin


A little metal clip is providing big benefits for heart patients in New South Wales’ Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.

Wollongong Private Hospital is now able to offer safer treatment closer to home since interventional cardiologist Dr Ed Danson started performing procedures using the Mitral Valve Clip.

Previously patients would have had to travel to Sydney to have faulty heart valves repaired without the need for open-heart surgery.

“This treatment option allows patients having transcatheter procedures to recover more quickly, given its minimally-invasive nature,” Dr Danson said. 

“There is also often much less time in hospital and sometimes less pain in the immediate aftermath. 

“Importantly, this treatment is also available to some patients who are just unable to have open-heart surgery because of the risk to their life.”

The non-surgical treatment method involves inserting a small metal clip into the heart, via a vein in the leg, to help it function properly. 

Dr Danson said its potential benefits were a lot more significant than just patients’ reduced travel and ability to recover close to their support network.

“Numerous studies now show very convincingly much better outcomes for patients when their care is less fragmented, where everything from planning the procedure, performing it, recovery and follow up is all delivered by the same team at the same location. 

“These treatments often require protracted planning before they are offered involving several scans, detailed analysis and multidisciplinary discussion. It just isn’t practical or realistic to ask patients, many of whom are older or frailer, to travel large distances for repeated visits into our metropolitan areas,” he said.

“However, the reality is transcatheter technologies need to be delivered at hospitals with all the relevant infrastructure, so sites like Wollongong Private Hospital are essential. 

“Wollongong has some of the best cardiac surgeons in the country who work very symbiotically with a wonderfully functional ‘Heart Team’. We also have all the latest and most advanced technology at our disposal.”

Wollongong Private Hospital’s Acting CEO, Malcolm Passmore, said the new procedure complemented an already comprehensive range of heart services provided to local residents by the Ramsay Health Care facility, including its public/private cardiothoracic program. 

“We’re proud to offer the people of the Illawarra region quality cardiac care close to home,” he said.


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