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CUF Tejo Hospital performs unique intervention in Portugal

Custom-made heart valve prosthesis

“For the first time in Portugal, at CUF Tejo Hospital, the tricuspid heart valve was replaced by a prosthesis made to the exact measure of the patient’s heart, through cardiac catheterization – a minimally invasive procedure.

This intervention, performed under general anesthesia, is less invasive than conventional surgery – as it is a percutaneous procedure performed through a groin vein, the femoral vein, without resorting to any surgical incision – it requires less hospitalization time and enables recovery faster. It is a particularly appropriate approach in people with surgical contraindications or whose surgical risk is considered high. “This is the first time that a completely customized tricuspid valve has been replaced percutaneously in our country”, indicate Ruben Ramos and Duarte Cacela, CUF cardiologists who led the team that carried out this unique intervention in Portugal.

The valve prosthesis was constructed after a detailed study of the heart of the patient who needed this intervention. “Performing a previous AngioTAC made it possible to study in detail the anatomical details of the patient’s heart, making very precise measurements of the cardiac structures, allowing the design of a unique, customized and adapted prosthesis specifically for this patient’s heart”, explains Ruben Ramos. The prosthesis construction process took about 8 weeks and was carried out in Germany.

The technique of replacing a heart valve through a completely percutaneous approach, that is, through catheterization, with standardized prostheses has been used for the aortic valve since 2008 in Portugal. In recent years, this therapeutic option has also been introduced for other heart valves.

Duarte Cacela says that the procedure performed “allows Portuguese patients to be offered the most advanced and innovative technologies available worldwide, constituting a breakthrough in the treatment of patients with tricuspid insufficiency in Portugal, improving their quality of life”.”

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