Ravenna - 27 April 2017 - Pietro Di Febo
The Maria Cecilia Hospital is located in Cotignola in the province of Ravenna. It is one of the most important hospitals for cardiology in Europe. The hospital is at the forefront of diagnostics and treatment and provides every comfort for its patients. It houses a specialist unit which treats heart disease using highly innovative techniques which do not require traditional surgery. Cotignola is just a few kilometres from the ancient city of Ravenna, the last capital of the Western Roman Empire, a town with a rich past and fascinating museums.
Dr Cremonesi, which techniques can be used to treat patients with heart disease without having to fall back on surgery?
Modern cardiology can use various methods, including percutaneous techniques. Our aim is to evaluate the clinical condition of a patient from a multitude of cardiovascular ailments and reduce any surgical stress to a minimum. Percutaneous techniques avoid making surgical incisions and are frequently used at the Maria Cecilia Hospital when repairing the narrowing of heart valves. When a valve is not closing properly, creating a reflux of blood between ventricles and arteries, an inflatable balloon can be introduced into the valve itself and the specialist can apply a metallic clip to reduce the flow. The same is true with the substitution of heart valves, especially when the aortic valve is afflicted by progressive calcification or the hardening of the cusp caused by the deposit of calcium salts which is quite common in later years.
What is the procedure?
In the case of the substitution of the aortic valve we use a procedure called TAVI or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation, which repairs a valve without removing the damaged one. The heart and valve are reached by using an external artery, so it is no longer necessary to make an opening in the thorax, as with traditional methods (open and mini-invasive), and with this technique it is not necessary to stop cardiac activity. All that is needed is a minimum local anaesthetic. This results in reduced operational trauma and a more rapid recovery for the patient.
WHO IS ALBERTO CREMONESI
Since 1991 Dr Alberto Cremonesi has been director of the cardiac-angiography unit at the Maria Cecilia Hospital in Cotignola near Ravenna, a highly specialised GVM Care and Research Hospital. Since 2002 he has taught on the Masters course for Endovascular Techniques at the Bicocca University in Milan.
Maria Cecilia Hospital
Via Vecchia Corriera, 1
48033 Barbiano (RA)