Pioneering heart surgery of the 1960s and 70s produced revolutionary results, but at a cost to the patient in terms of extensive high-risk operations with the need for intensive care and long recovery times.
In the past decade, transcatheter procedures have had a significant impact on the time needed for interventions as well as reducing hospital stays and associated costs, since patients are able to return home shortly after the procedure.
Commonly used as a means to implant stents, new technological advances mean a greater number of cardiovascular interventions can be performed in this minimally invasive manner.
Reparation and even replacement of heart valves has been a standard part of the cardiac surgeon’s repertoire for many years, but it is only recently that cath lab procedures have developed to include valve replacement. This means that these interventions are now becoming possible in high-risk and/or older patients who would have previously been excluded from this type of surgery.