Incheon Sejong Hospital (Chairman Park Jin-sik), the first and only medical complex in Korea, has announced that its TAVI team (Dr. Choi Rak-kyeong, Dr. Cho Young-seok, and DR. Kim Min-jeong from the Department of Cardiology) has successfully performed transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) on a 94-year-old patient.
The 94-year-old female patient, suffering from underlying diseases such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, visited Incheon Sejong Hospital due to chest pain and shortness of breath. Based on an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with severe aortic valve stenosis. Aortic valve stenosis, which mainly occurs due to aging, is a disease through which the valves become hard as calcium deposits accumulate and blood vessels become narrower, resulting in dysfunction and problems with systemic blood circulation. Life expectancy is just three years if the valve is not replaced.
The TAVI team held an interdisciplinary treatment meeting in which medical staff from the cardiology, thoracic surgery, and anesthesiology and pain medicine fields gathered to discuss the appropriate treatment for the patient. They decided to perform TAVI in consideration of the patient’s condition and age.
At first, the patient and her family were hesitant because of the risk, but they ultimately agreed on the understanding that the treatment is considered safe and would significantly improve the patient’s symptoms. In addition, according to the new health insurance guidelines that came into effect on May 1 this year, she was eligible for a 5% discount as a patient over 80 years of age, being able to receive treatment at a lower cost than in the past.
Dr. Choi Rak-kyeong from the Cardiology Department, who performed the procedure, said, “At Incheon Sejong Hospital, thoracic surgeons are there to operate immediately in case of an emergency during a TAVI procedure. This process whereby patients aren’t treated by individual doctors but rather by a team of doctors is a unique system that makes our hospital competitive with other medical institutions, and I can say, with confidence, that we perform the safest TAVI procedures.”
The patient undergoing the procedure recovered and was discharged on the 27th of last month. Incheon Sejong Hospital President Oh Byung-hee said, “Elderly or high-risk patients suffering from multiple diseases generally do not undergo surgery readily due to the high risks involved, and TAVI is a good alternative in these cases. Demand is growing because its clinical safety has been proven over the years and it is regarded as an effective treatment method. From this past May, the barrier to this treatment has been lowered even further as the cost has been reduced with national health insurance coverage being reflective of the severity of the medical condition.”