Two patients receive new life-saving valves and avoid open heart surgery

Exciting news from our cardiology department: two patients have received new artificial heart valves to treat severe aortic stenosis, thus avoiding open heart surgery. The Evolut™ FX system has already been used in the United States as an effective form of treatment and now, the McGill University Health Centre is the first in Canada to make use of this innovative technology.

“I feel good,” says Jocelyn Leroux one week after the procedure. Jocelyn is the first patient in the country to receive this high-performance valve system. “I’m very grateful to the hospital and the staff I met because every person was caring.”

Both patients underwent Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a life-saving procedure to treat reduced or blocked blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. During TAVR, an artificial valve replaces the diseased aortic valve using minimally invasive percutaneous techniques—in other words, doctors perform needle-puncture of the skin thereby avoiding open-heart surgery. A thin, flexible tube is inserted into an artery, guiding the artificial valve all the way up to the heart.

This technology is proven to be as good as or better than surgery.

“The latest system developed by Medtronic was designed with precision and predictability in mind, which are imperative for TAVR procedures,” explains Dr. Nicolo Piazza, who performed both procedures along with Drs. Giuseppe Martucci and Marco Spaziano. "We’re very thankful for the support and encouragement provided by Vincent Piché-Roy, Nurse Manager of the interventional catheterization laboratory and Dr. Atul Verma, Director for the Division of Cardiology.”

Here we see one of our staff with the patient.
Here we see one of our staff with the patient.


“It went very well," says Rabah Medrar, Cardiac Hemodynamics Technologist who was present for both procedures. “Under strict aseptic conditions and local anesthesia, the valve implantation was completed in approximately one hour for each patient.”

“It’s a great success,” Jocelyn remarks. “I want to say thank you to the nurses, and thank you to everyone who kindly took care of me.”