Photo courtesy of OrbusNeich

IJN performs first TricValve procedure on tricuspid regurgitation in Asia

The procedure is a breakthrough in treating leaking heart valves.

The Institut Jantung Negara (National Heart Institute/IJN) in Malaysia is the first hospital in Asia to perform the OrbusNeich TricValve Transcatheter Bicaval Valves procedure for patients suffering from tricuspid regurgitation or leaky heart valves.

It is a procedure where a bioprosthesis, called a dry stent-valve, is inserted via a preloaded delivery system. It was performed by the Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Team and Cardiology Department on 6 May.

IJN CEO Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim has thanked the department for seeking out newer and more innovative methods of treatment.

“It’s no secret that IJN’s success has been built on the willingness of our staff to keep learning, exploring for new innovative treatments that can enhance our patients’ quality of life, and pushing the boundaries to be able to treat more patients who are deemed unsuitable for surgeries,” he said in an interview with the Malaysian Reserve.

The IJN Cardiology Department Head Dr. Shaiful Azmi Yahaya said the team first conducted the procedure on a 67-year-old woman who had long-standing hypertension and atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat. He explained that the patient is doing very well three months post-procedure.

IJN Clinical Director Datuk Dr. Azmee Mohd Ghazi stated that a common surgical option for tricuspid valve regurgitation is an annuloplasty, wherein the ring around the valve in the heart is tightened.
“Unfortunately, in patients with severely dilated tricuspid annulus or with a prior pacemaker or other underlying conditions, they will not be suitable for such a procedure," he noted. “For such cases, it is important that we can offer a new innovative treatment like TricValve to help more patients alleviate their symptoms and improve their quality of life.”

The TricValve procedure is not for everyone as patients are required to undergo intensive investigations such as CT scans and coronary angiograms. 

The procedure is also not an outpatient treatment yet. Shaiful hoped that more insurance companies would consider this procedure as it may cost up to more than $24,125.46 (RM 100,000). 

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