Posted On: Saturday, 30 August 2008
Spotlight on Waikato's landmark surgery
Five elderly patients are recovering in hospital after landmark heart surgery at Waikato Hospital this week.
Two of the transcatheter aortic valve operations were carried out on Thursday and another three yesterday.
It was the first time the operations which are much less invasive than conventional heart surgery have been carried out in public hospitals in New Zealand.
Ramona Johnson, 79, was up and walking around yesterday and said she was feeling "just great".
"(It is) marvellous to be able to talk without having to gasp for a bit of air," she said.
The Tauranga woman said those involved in the operation had done a great job and she had been told she was likely to be discharged on Monday.
She said she was looking forward to being able to walk to the letterbox and potter about in the garden without too much effort next week, but for now was a bit overwhelmed at all the national and international attention.
"I'm sure I didn't deserve all this."
The operation involves replacement of a deteriorated main heart outflow valve with another one via the leg.
The procedure only requires a local anaesthetic and has a short recovery time.
Waikato Hospital's Dr Sanjeevan Pasupati is one of a few cardiologists in the world with experience in this procedure.
Dr Pasupati and his Hamilton colleague Dr Gerry Devlin performed the procedures.
They were supervised by Dr Jean-Claude Laborde, one of the inventors of the CoreValve used.
Yesterday's operation recipients included men from Gisborne, Otorohanga and Tokoroa.
The operations were made possible by the Waikato Heart Trust and an individual who gifted more than $300,000 for the valves.
The DHB is to prepare a business case for the Health Ministry so the operations can continue in the public sector.
Article sourced from Waikato Times, Saturday, 30 August 2008
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