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New Procedure Available in Saskatchewan for Patients Not Eligible for Open-Heart Surgery

The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) program is officially being launched in Saskatchewan. The procedure allows for patients who are too frail for open-heart surgery to receive an aortic valve replacement.

Previously patients had to travel to Alberta or B.C. for the procedure. Without a valve replacement, life expectancy is two years. Procedures will be conducted at Regina General Hospital.

“Our government is pleased to provide $700,000 in annual funding so patients who are not candidates for open-heart surgery are able to receive an alternative procedure here in Saskatchewan,” Regina Pasqua MLA Muhammad Fiaz said on behalf of Health Minister Jim Reiter.

He adds, “making this available closer to home has a profound effect on both the length and the quality of patients’ lives.”

Regina cardiologist Dr. Jeff Booker says, “it is so important this procedure is available to patients here in the province.”

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He adds, “a lot of work has gone into setting up the program and it’s been amazing working together and watching the team grow.”

Twenty-five patients will be eligible for the procedure each year. It was first performed in Saskatchewan in February of this year and since then 11 patients have received the procedure.

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