Nanavati Hospital performs TAVR to save senior citizen’s life amidst COVID pandemic


A 70-year-old physiotherapist from Mumbai successfully underwent an extremely rare Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) surgery at Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital on Tuesday 23rd June 2020. Dr. Lekha Pathak—India’s first woman intervention cardiologist performed the procedure along with renowned cardiologist, Dr. A. B. Gopalamurugan, who flew in from Chennai along with his team.

“We performed the procedure under local anaesthesia. The diseased aortic valve of the patient was replaced percutaneously, with the help of a large catheter which was entered through patient’s groin. Very next morning, patient was happily walking in our corridors and ready to go home,” said Dr Pathak.

Despite the complexity of the procedure, Dr Pathak and her team opted for TAVR to avoid the risks of open heart surgery and reduce hospitalisation period of the senior citizen amidst ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.

“She was immunocompromised, diabetic, hypertensive and detected with hypothyroid. Opting for an open heart surgery could’ve increased the risk and considering her weakening heart, we couldn’t wait for pandemic to end. I am happy we took the decision to perform the surgery immediately,” said the patients husband—a renowned physician from Andheri who has requested anonymity.

The patient’s heart condition had escalated quickly from February this year to June.“We had visited the magnificent Statue of Unity in Gujarat just four months ago. I was feeling extremely well then, but recently, I started feeling fatigued, breathless and uneasy even after minor home chores. Now after the procedure, I am feeling renewed and energetic. I thank all my wonderful doctors for this new lease of life,” said the patient.

“Performing such a complex, lifesaving cardiac procedure on a critically ill senior citizen amidst the pandemic is a dynamic learning experience for cardiologists across the world. Due to a state-of-the-art catheterization laboratory, stringent infection control protocols such as mandatory use of PPEs, thorough fumigation and sanitisation and clear demarcation between COVID and Non-COVID facilities within the hospital, we successfully discharged the patient very next day,” said Mr. Manpreet Sohal, Director and Chief Operating Officer, Nanavati Hospital, wishing a speedy recovery to the patient.