Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Avocado farmer part of heart team’s milestone at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital

Aug 10, 2020

A 90-year old avocado farmer from the Sunshine Coast is one of the first 100 people to be treated with an innovative artificial heart valve at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital.

The procedure – Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) – is a minimally invasive, catheter- based procedure to replace the aortic valve. It is a treatment option for certain patients with severe aortic stenosis who may have increased risk associated with surgical aortic valve implantation (open heart surgery).

Severe aortic stenosis can happen when the aortic valve becomes diseased. The valve leaflets become stiff and thickened and have a difficult time opening and closing. This makes the patient’s heart work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. If left untreated, severe aortic stenosis can result in heart failure.

The ‘heart team’ at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital (SCUPH) has performed its 100th TAVI procedure, within 12 months of launching the potentially life-saving treatment.

Cardiologist Dr Peter Larsen said 102 patients had been treated in the first 12 months at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital.

“In the past year, our data shows approximately one in four TAVI patients were able to leave hospital the following morning, the average length of stay in hospital was three days, and the average stay in the intensive care unit was 20 hours,” Dr Larsen said.

The TAVI program involves close collaboration between the patients, their GP and the ‘heart team’, with every patient reviewed by a multidisciplinary team.

This streamlined model of care in the one location aims to reduce anxiety and stress for patients and their families, removing the need for them to travel beyond the Sunshine Coast for this procedure.

In Australia, more than 50,000 Australians are currently living with some form of severe aortic stenosis and it is estimated that 1 in 8 older patients is currently living with the aortic stenosis.

About Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital’s cardiac service:

SCUPH has the Sunshine Coast’s only comprehensive cardiac service, with onsite cardiac surgery and heart specialists providing 24/7 integrated cardiac care.

The multidisciplinary TAVI team includes: