Two avant-garde surgical procedures carried out in the last few months have confirmed that the S.D. Laboratory of Hemodynamics in the University Hospital Pisa is the European point of reference for percutaneous treatment – without surgical incisions – of structural cardiac pathologies, and in particular with regard to the valves. The team, led by Anna Sonia Petronio carried out two mitral valve replacements (Tendyne) by inserting a catheter through the left ventricular apex by way of a small incision in the thoracic wall, without interrupting the body’s blood circulation. The patients were discharged after a short period of postoperative convalescence without the need for cardiac rehabilitation.
“There are only a few centres in Italy and Europe which have started to carry out transcatheter mitral valve replacement in collaboration with Cardiac Surgery and Cardiac Anesthesia,” explains Professor Petronio. “This allows us to successfully treat patients who, because of the high risk in Cardiac Surgery, would otherwise not have had treatment.”
Transcatheter mitral valve replacement with the collaboration of the team from Cardiac Surgery and Cardiac Anesthesia.
To date there have been around 1,000 percutaneous transcatheter aortic valve replacements for the treatment of aortic stenosis and more than 200 mitral valve replacements for mitral valve insufficiency. The S.D. of Hemodynamics is one of the pioneers in the percutaneous treatment of tricuspid valves, the new frontier of structural cardiopathy. These results have ensured that the structure continues to be involved in important multicentred studies at international level, and to act as a centre for experiments in new devices and new, innovative techniques in this field.
The staff of the S.D. of Hemodynamics directed by Professor Anna Sonia Petronio
Training courses have been held in the Centre for some years now given its wide experience in this field. The courses aimed at Italian and foreign professionals, both European and extra European, in this sector, offer the doctors the possibility to intervene actively in the procedures. The Centre has also been involved for two years in the Master programme for structural interventions at Sant’Anna.
“This is a further demonstration of the fact that our professionals in this sector have reached excellence at international level. In order to maintain these levels and go beyond, adequate human financial and logistic resources must be made available to teams like the one coordinated by Professor Petronio, whom I thank on behalf of the entire academic community,” emphasizes the Rector of the University of Pisa, Paolo Mancarella. “Following what is now common practice, the University of Pisa and AOUP will be able to share paths of development in this sector, overcoming all forms of resistance to the concept that merit must prevail, in which I am a firm believer.”
The Cardiac Surgery team and the Tendyne team