Sidra cardiologist pioneers heart valve surgery in Qatar
May 30 2017 08:58 PM
Prof Hijazi (fourth left) with HMC team after a successful implantation.


Prof Ziyad M Hijazi, chair of the Department of Paediatrics and the director of the Sidra Cardiac Programme at Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra), recently performed and oversaw four pioneering surgeries on congenital heart defects (CHD) patients in Qatar, with a new proprietary heart valve. 
Prof Hijazi has been the global principal investigator for a consortium of international cardiac interventionists to evaluate a new heart valve – the Venus P-valve.
Manufactured by Venus Medtech Inc, the P-valve seeks to address the needs of a large majority of CHD patients who are unable to benefit from existing minimally-invasive valve implantations and have to undergo open-heart surgery. 
Qatar-based patients, ranging from ages 14 to 40, received the Venus P-Valve implantations at Hamad General Hospital. The operations were performed jointly by Prof Hijazi and Dr Qi-Ling Cao from Sidra and Dr Hesham al-Saloos, an interventional cardiologist from Hamad Medical Corporation.
Prof Hijazi, an interventional cardiologist, is a pioneer and specialist in treating congenital and structural heart disease in both children and adults. His major area of interest is in the development of techniques, catheters, devices and valves to help treat or cure congenital and structural cardiac disease without open-heart surgery. 
“Clinical research is a key part of our remit at Sidra. As surgeons and physicians we are committed to ensuring that we never stop researching new treatment and technologies that can save lives and ease the care and treatment of our patients,” Prof Hijazi said.
“The Venus P-valve implantations were a truly pioneering procedure for CHD patients in Qatar. This is the first time that the implantation with the valve has been done in the country after successful evaluations in other parts of the world. The Ministry of Public Health in Qatar granted Sidra the rights to bring this innovation to Qatar,” Prof Hijazi continued.
The trans-catheter self-expanding Venus P-Valve, designed for the pulmonary valve, is implanted via a catheter inserted through the groin. The process does not require the use of a heart and lung machine to stop the heart during the operation. The procedure is carried out while the heart is still beating.
“The advantage with the Venus P-Valve is that it can be customised according to the shape of the patient’s heart – ensuring accuracy in positioning. We were able to put in custom requests of all the valves, as Sidra has the unique ability to print an exact 3D replica of the patient’s heart prior to surgery,” Prof Hijazi continued.
Qatar is a partner country in addition to the UK, Germany, China and Jordan to host the evaluation of the valve for CE (European Conformity) certification.
All implantations of the Venus P-Valve in Qatar are being conducted under the aegis of Prof Hijazi with full consent and support from patients and their families. Once the Venus P-valve is CE certified, it can be customised for patients globally. This will help save the lives of thousands of CHD patients worldwide who no longer have to undergo open heart surgery as the only option to treat their condition. 
Peter Morris, CEO, Sidra said, “Sidra has a firm commitment towards innovation – one of our organisation's core values. Our interventionists like Prof Hijazi are leading the way by bringing new treatments and methodologies that improve the treatment and outcomes for our patients.”

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