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HIQA recommends a minimally-invasive alternative to open heart surgery

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published a health technology assessment (HTA) recommending that the Minister for Health and the HSE consider extending transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)  to patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis at intermediate and low risk of surgical complications.

TAVI is described by HIQA as “a minimally-invasive alternative to open heart surgery”.

Currently TAVI is primarily offered as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in patients that are otherwise inoperable or at high risk of surgical complications.

 “Clinical trials have demonstrated that TAVI is just as safe as SAVR in terms of cardiac and all-cause mortality,” said HIQA’s Chief Scientist, Dr Conor Teljeur.

“Although some other complications differ between TAVI and SAVR, the minimally invasive procedure is associated with a shorter length of stay in hospital and improved health-related quality of life gains in the short term (up to three months) compared with open heart surgery.”

Between 3 per cent and 4 per cent of adults aged 75 years and older have severe aortic stenosis, of which three-quarters are symptomatic

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