A 76-year-old man with a history of critical stenosis of his aortic valve arrived at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in severe cardiac shock. It was clear he needed a valve transplant urgently, but the traditional surgical options were not suitable for him because he also had severe vascular disease, anatomical limitations and had undergone previous heart bypass surgery.
So, for the first time in Israel, relates Dr. David Planer, director of Hadassah’s Catheterization Department, Hadassah’s surgical team performed the transplant using the carotid artery as the point of entry. The technique of trans-carotid access, Dr. Planer says, is not performed in “the majority of medical centers worldwide.”
Dr. Planer explains, “Until two decades ago, patients who required an aortic valve replacement had to have surgery that involved opening the chest. The recovery was long and difficult.”
This procedure, says Dr. Planer, “is performed using a hybrid approach, with catheterization specialists and cardiac surgeons.” Using this collaborative approach, Dr. Planer, Dr. Gabby Elbaz-Greener, senior catheterization specialist and head of the Structural Heart Intervention Program; Dr. Amit Korach, senior cardiac surgeon; Prof. Ronen Beeri, director of the Echocardiography Unit and senior anesthesiologist; and Dr. Tamer Abu Jreis, anesthesiology resident, successfully replaced the valve.
“Beyond choosing the right patient and the high technical capacity of the team, in a procedure such as this, it is of utmost importance for us to work harmoniously, despite coming from different disciplines,” says Dr. Planer. “Thankfully, the operation went smoothly and without complications. We are proud to be the first team in Israel to carry it out and pave the way for an additional therapeutic option for these seriously ill patients. Our patient has now been discharged to begin rehabilitation, and we wish him a full recovery.”