Ahmedabad-based doctor creates milestone by conducting pioneering work on TAVR therapy across the globe

Dr Abhishek Rajpopat, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, KD Hospital, Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is an example of such a technology that has been demonstrated to reduce the burden of disease by improving the quality of life and survival of patients with aortic stenosis. It is a specialized procedure under local anaesthesia for replacing the heart valve without surgically opening the chest. This therapy’s objective is to install a new artificial valve to resume work on the damaged aortic valve. The new valve expands when placed, pushing the damaged parts of the valve out of the way and regulating blood flow in the aorta.

There is a common misconception that aged people should not go for surgeries. With such surgical options available in modern medical science, patients can live healthily and fit life.

Recently, in April 2022, Ahmedabad-based Dr Abhishek Rajpopat (senior consultant interventional cardiologist, KD Hospital, Ahmedabad) performed the TAVR procedure – catheter-based therapy treatment, on 83 years old patient, a rare surgery and the first of its kind in Nairobi, Kenya. He has been to Nairobi twice and has carried out two TAVR implants. He performed a revolutionary non-surgical procedure by bringing the patient back to good health in two days and giving him a quick recovery. It was a major historical event for Kenya and a significant breakthrough in medical science, which has opened up new horizons in structural valve disease treatment. The patient’s progress was covered in Kenya’s media, and the victory was celebrated on various social media all over the globe.

Being a TAVR expert, he has successfully conducted several workshop programs on interventional cardiology, catheter-based therapy treatment (TAVR), and Valvuloplasty implants at KD Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Locally seeing life-saving options and the rewarding results at KD Hospital, with experience of treating 400 plus TAVR patients, he has set the goal to provide services to mankind by helping more and more cardiac patients.

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure to repair a small aortic valve (aortic valve stenosis) that does not open properly.

Traditionally, aortic valve disease was treated with open heart surgery, but since most aortic stenosis is a disease of old age, many people are frail and at high risk for surgery, so they don’t get the option of surgery without substantial risk. For that patient at high risk for surgery, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a very good option and a blessing. TAVR is a planned procedure and requires a few days to organize, which implies a battery of diagnostic tests, CT scans, planning by a team of doctors, and deciding on the right side of the valve. Instead of a large incision, there’s only a small puncture, and it’s less painful. There is a minimized hospital stay with quick recovery. In two to three days, the patient will be able to breathe easily, and their co-morbidities are tackled.

As far as comprehensive cardiac care is concerned, experience counts. Dr Abhishek enticed his academics in MBBS, MD, and DM from India and received a fellowship in structural heart diseases from Denmark in 2019. Treating cardiac patients for over 11 years, Dr Abhishek Rajpopat is a leading Sr. Cardiologist who is proficient and experienced in conducting one of the largest courses of TAVR therapy across pan India.

Rendering his patient’s episode with us of TAVR implant conducted in Nairobi, Dr Rajpopat elaborates that” When the old patient came to us, he was experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and a weaker heart. The patient underwent ECG and 2DEcho on arrival, and it was revealed with an aortic valve narrowed significantly due to deterioration or deposition of calcium with age. It leads to severe debility. Due to his other medical issues, the blood ejected from the left ventricle generally passes through the aortic valve to ensure that it does not return to the heart. Open heart surgery was not possible in his case. The advanced technology TAVR is a one-way process which is the safest and best option for him, but it was a challenging time for us as his radiant was indicated high. It took some 2 hours to proceed. A team of cardiologists and I implanted a new valve without opening the chest cavity. To everyone’s joy, the patient was discharged in two days and showed remarkable progress on the path of recovery.”

Brimming with positive energy, he ended with a note that “It was a proud moment for me to look at the patient who gets a new lifetime lease after (TAVR).

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