CHI performs first successful transcatheter aortic valve implantation in Guyana

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
(From Right) CHI’s Advanced Interventional Cardiologist Dr Terrence Haynes alongside his colleagues Dr Tahira Redwood and Dr Raquel Gordon

The Caribbean Heart Institute (CHI) on Friday performed the first successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), in Guyana.

TAVI offers a minimally invasive approach to repairing the aortic valve. During the procedure, an artificial valve is implanted into the heart. Without the removal of the old, damaged valve; the new valve is inserted on the interior of the diseased valve.

Crimped Heart Valve made from natural animal heart tissue

Two patients underwent this procedure: a 67-year-old diagnosed with Severe Aortic Stenosis, and a 65-year-old diagnosed with Severe Aortic Stenosis and Coronary Artery Disease. Aortic Stenosis, characterised by the narrowing of the aortic valve, restricts normal blood flow, while Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) intensifies this condition by causing plaque buildup in the arteries supplying blood to the heart.

The surgical team was led by Dr Terrence Haynes, CHI’s own Advanced Interventional Cardiologist, alongside his colleagues Dr Tahira Redwood and Dr Raquel Gordon, fellow Interventional Cardiologists from Jamaica. Both surgeries were successful. This favourable outcome reflects the expertise of CHI’s multi-disciplinary team, inclusive of nurses, radiologists, cardiac surgeons, perfusionists, and interventional cardiologists.

CHI’s Multi-Disciplinary Team

According to CHI’s CEO, Dr Gary Stephens, “TAVI is a game-changer.” He explained, “We use a catheter to deliver a crimped valve made from animal tissue; this allows us to insert it through an artery in the leg and navigate it up to the heart. Once in place, it expands to push aside the old valve. This minimally invasive approach avoids a heart-lung bypass machine and ventilator, enabling a faster recovery compared to traditional open-heart surgery.”

CHI continues to celebrate its partnership with the Government of Guyana, the Georgetown Public Hospital Complex, and international colleagues within the medical fraternity.

The Institute has extended special thanks to Asahi Pompey – Goldman Sachs Gives and the Goldman Sachs Foundation for their generous donation.

Located within the Georgetown Public Hospital, CHI has treated over 25,000 patients and remains a leader in cardiovascular care and research in Guyana.