Twenty year-old Ahlam, born with a congenital heart defect, known as Tetralogy of Fallot, is the first patient in Qatar to receive a P-Valve implant without open-heart surgery, Sidra Medical and Research Center announced on Friday.
Tetralogy of Fallot is a hole between the lower chambers of the heart and an obstruction between the heart and the lungs, with a defective pulmonic valve. To treat her condition, Ahlam had to endure several procedures, including major open-heart surgery, as an infant. As she grew older, Ahlam experienced more complications including a leaky valve that resulted in a significant enlargement of her heart.
Ahlam was a patient at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and in 2016 was transferred to a joint care programme between HMC and Sidra under the supervision of Prof Ziyad M Hijazi, chair of the Department of Paediatrics and director, Sidra Cardiac Programme.
Prof Hijazi is an interventional cardiologist and pioneering specialist in treating congenital and structural heart disease in both children and adults.
Prof Hijazi said, “I had been following Ahlam’s case closely and at first it seemed like the only option available to her was another open-heart surgery. However, in March of this year, we received permission to use the Venus P-Valve implant in Qatar as part of a clinical trial that involves several centers across Europe and Asia. I discussed the option with her and her family, who were quick to embrace it. In April 2017, Ahlam became our first p-valve implantation patient in Qatar.”
Ahlam’s operation was performed jointly by Prof Hijazi and Dr Qi-Ling Cao from Sidra, and Dr Hesham al-Saloos, an interventional cardiologist from HMC. “Ahlam’s operation was completed in just under three hours, requiring only three days recovery. She was happily out and about and came back to see me for a check-up within the week!” continued Prof Hijazi.
Ahlam said, “Given that I have been going to hospitals and for check-ups all my life, I was scared – thinking I would need another open-heart surgery! I was keen to try this new procedure because of the medical complications that resulted from a surgery I had as a child. The complications made it quite difficult to do even simple tasks. The new procedure was fast and all it took was a small incision to insert the replacement valve.”
The Venus P-Valve is a new valve that is seeking to address the needs of a large majority of coronary heart disease patients who are unable to benefit from existing minimally-invasive valve implantations and have to undergo open-heart surgery. Prof Hijazi is the global principal investigator leading a consortium of international cardiac interventionists to evaluate the valve.
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