TAVI Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation / Replacement
Dr Turner initiated the TAVI service in Bristol in 2007, because of his experience on balloon treatment of heart valve disease and his experience working with Philip Bonhoeffer, one of the pioneers of transcatheter valve treatments. This involved developing a team of cardiologists and surgeons to deliver this treatment.
TAVI is treatment for patients for whom surgical valve replacement is high risk or impossible. This usually means patients over the age of 80 years, or those who have had previous heart surgery. The valve is inserted using a keyhole technique from the vessels in the leg, under the collar bone or directly into the heart through a small incision under the left breast. This avoids the need to open the breast bone, and avoids the need to be put on the heart lung machine (which carries some risks of its own).
TAVI still carries some risks, but in well selected patients it can have a number of advantages over traditional surgery, such as shorter hospital stay, less pain and reduced risk. However, patients need to be carefully investigated to determine if they are suitable for the treatment. In some patients surgery is still the best option, and the investigations performed on the heart also help the surgeons to plan open heart surgery if this proves necessary. Dr Turner can perform all of the necessary investigations and with the Heart team and the patient, decide whether TAVI, surgery or tablet treatment is the best option.