John Flynn Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Balloons and cupcakes for John Flynn’s 200th TAVI

Jun 04, 2020

John Flynn Private Hospital has celebrated an important milestone - with its specialist cardiac team successfully completing the 200th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) procedure.

Patient Paul Hartley was greeted with balloons and his own personalised cupcake as he was led into the Intensive Care Unit after his TAVI procedure, performed by interventional cardiologist Dr Guy Wright-Smith and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Ben Anderson.

“It was a surprise that morning, someone mentioned I was going to be the 200th and I didn’t put much stock in it, but then I scored a chocolate cupcake and it was very nice. It was a lot of fun,” Mr Hartley said.

“They really are just a wonderful team, wonderful people and they were really interested in making me as comfortable as possible, always putting the patient first.”

The TAVI procedure is a minimally-invasive alternative to open heart surgery for patients suffering from aortic stenosis. During the operation doctors gain access through the femoral artery in the groin to replace the narrowing valve with an artificial valve.

Dr Anderson said the procedure can allow for a very quick recovery time, can be much safer for high-risk patients, and added that celebrating the 200th TAVI was “an absolute blast”.

“It was very difficult to establish a TAVI program for many cardiac units around the country outside of the major metropolitan centres, and I think it is incredibly significant to reach this milestone at John Flynn,” Dr Anderson said.

Cardiologist Dr Shailesh Khatri, who has also been an integral member of the cardiac team since its inception, agreed it was an important milestone.

“This is very significant as there would not be many private hospitals who would have done so many cases,” Dr Khatri said.

“TAVI brings great benefits for the patients as most of them otherwise would have no option due to their age and other medical conditions. This procedure improves quality of life and extends their life.”

TAVI co-ordinator Kerry Hedges said the 200th TAVI was particularly significant for the cardiac team, given the first procedure performed at John Flynn Private Hospital was only in April 2016.

“The entire cardiac cath lab team has always been committed to a safe and efficient TAVI program and we are delighted to achieve our successful 200th procedure which now means we are indeed a ‘high-volume’ TAVI centre,” Ms Hedges said.

“I work with an amazing group of professionals who always put the safety and wellbeing of the patient first. To be able to come to work each day knowing we are all putting in a 100 per cent effort towards that goal is indeed what makes me happy to be a part of this team.”

John Flynn’s cardiac cath lab team now performs approximately 10 TAVI procedures each month.

Dr Anderson, Dr Wright-Smith and Dr Khatri have made up the core TAVI team since its inception in 2016. Dr Tony Lai and Dr Michael Greenwood have been performing TAVI procedures at John Flynn since August 2019.

Balloons and cupcakes for John Flynn’s 200th TAVI
Balloons and cupcakes for John Flynn’s 200th TAVI
Balloons and cupcakes for John Flynn’s 200th TAVI
Balloons and cupcakes for John Flynn’s 200th TAVI