A new technology that will make the mitral heart valve repair surgery, faster, easier and with greater precision has been invented by a Dubai Hospital doctor — the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced on Monday.

Named the Safadi Stitch, by its inventor Dr Faouzi Safadi, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Dubai Hospital, this reproducible technique could be an efficient alternative to any other method of measurement for artificial mitral chord, opening the door to a higher practice of mitral repair.

“I have invented a unique artificial chord for mitral repair with a specific sliding stitch named the Safadi Stitch, providing an easy, fast and accurate sizing of chordal length, essential for an effective and durable repair,” said Dr Safadi.
He said this reproducible technique could also be very helpful for robotic and minimal invasive cardiac surgery.

Dr Safadi said that the mitral valve is located between the pumping chamber of the heart called the left atrium and the final pumping chamber of the heart called the left ventricle. “The mitral valve makes sure that the blood keeps moving forward through the heart. You may need surgery if it is prolapsed (ruptured or elongated valve chords), and becomes too loose. In this case the blood tends to flow backward when this occurs,” he said.

He explained that the Safadi Stitch has received substantial attention in the region and the world, as it was presented at the annual congress of the Saudi Heart Association held recently in Riyadh. It will also be presented at other imminent international meetings.

Dr Safadi added that more than fifty interventions of mitral repair applying the Safadi Stitch have been implemented in the UAE, Italy and Belgium, where he along with specialised surgeons such as Professor Mattia Glauber, Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at St Ambrogio Hospital, Gruppo San Donato, Milan-Italy; and Dr Alaaddine Yilmaz, Head of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery division at Jessa Hospital, Hasselt-Belgium, have established the first coordinating team between the three centres.

“The preliminary results are very encouraging to develop and extend this technology globally,” said Dr Safadi. 

He said in the last few years the concept of valve repair instead of replacement has emerged and expanded gradually and he hopes that his invention will leave a notable mark in the field of mitral valve repair surgery.