It is now widely acknowledged that heart disease is a significant concern around the world and more so in the Middle East and North Africa. From sedentary lifestyles to smoking and unhealthy diets, heart failure is a prolonged condition with ever-increasing numbers. According to research, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for one in five deaths in the UAE.
As the premier private healthcare provider and a leader of excellence in cardiology in the Middle East, American Hospital Dubai (AHD) continues to enhance its Heart and Vascular Center to combat this issue.
The Center integrates extensive skills and the experience of its multidisciplinary team to treat conditions of the heart, lungs, chest and the entire vascular system with the help of the latest innovations and advanced techniques in the arena of cardiovascular medicine to diagnose, monitor, and manage all types of heart conditions.
TAVR offers an excellent option for patients who are at serious risk of complications arising from open-heart surgery.
Take for example — Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure to replace an aortic valve that has narrowed to the point when it fails to open correctly (a condition called severe aortic valve stenosis) preventing blood from flowing into the aorta and onward to the rest of the body.
“This new technology at AHD offers an excellent option for patients whose general condition or some specific factor puts them at serious risk of complications arising from open-heart surgery as the device is implanted via a catheter that is inserted through the leg and guided into place in the heart,” says Dr Heyman Luckraz, Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at AHD.
Another technology at American Hospital Dubai includes MitraClip. Professor Dr Firas Alani, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Chief of the Heart and Vascular Center at AHD, says that this innovative medical device utilises the edge-to-edge surgical method of valve repair.
MitraClip is the only transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) device that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
“The device consists of a large clip that grasps both the anterior and posterior leaflets of the mitral valve. Currently, MitraClip is the only transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) device that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients with heart failure symptoms and moderate-to-severe or severe secondary (functional) mitral regurgitation (leak) especially in patients who are considered to be at high risk for open heart surgery.”
AHD has introduced the novel Watchman device to fight cardiovascular diseases. This is surgically implanted to close off the left atrial appendage (LAA) section of the heart to prevent harmful blood clots from entering the bloodstream. In this way the risk of a stroke is reduced, particularly in patients with atrial fibrillation in which the heart beats irregularly and, as a result, is prone to producing blood clots.
The LAAC programme was successfully launched at AHD through the coordinated efforts of specialty teams. Traditionally, patients with atrial fibrillation are prescribed long-term blood-thinning drugs, which carry a substantial risk for internal bleeding that can be life-threatening.
Dr Mustapha Shaaraoui, Consultant Cardiologist at American Hospital Dubai, says, “The LAAC programme was successfully launched at AHD through the coordinated efforts of specialty teams. Traditionally, patients with atrial fibrillation are prescribed long-term blood-thinning drugs, which carry a substantial risk for internal bleeding that can be life-threatening. These blood thinners can be stopped altogether just a few months after the LAAC device is fitted. The procedure is minimally invasive and usually takes about an hour with patients ready to leave the hospital within just 24 hours.”
The implementation and maintenance of the clinical standards by American Hospital Dubai are based on the guidelines and recommendations of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Joint Commission International (JCI).
Patients who are eligible for the cardiac rehabilitation programme at American Hospital Dubai include those who may have experienced a heart attack event, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), TAVi or MitraClip procedures, Chronic stable angina, or other cardiovascular diseases compromising patients’ overall functional status and ability to perform their daily activities.
Services of the cardiac rehabilitation include clinical evaluation, lipid management, nutritional care, smoking cessation counseling and plans, behavioural intervention, psychosocial assessment, and counseling to manage overall stress, oxygen therapy, weight management, and CPAP – BiPAP therapy, among others.