(CLOSURE OF HOLE IN THE HEART, REPLACEMENT OF BLOCKED AORTIC VALVE AND CLOSURE OF LEFT ATRIAL APPENDAGE): New procedures are now available as a proven solution for symptomatic patients suffering from the above conditions. These procedures are performed in the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory with the availability of general anaesthesia or heavy sedation if required. They are usually performed via the femoral artery and rarely require open heart surgery. The valve implant is reserved for elderly patients too frail for open heart surgery. In such patients there is a very small risk with the procedure but it has been very successful with a lower operative risk and quicker recovery than open heart surgery in this elderly patient group.

POST INTERVENTION MANAGEMENT: Patients will usually remain in the acute Coronary Care observation ward for monitoring of their heart rhythm over the 12 hours after the procedure. They will normally be mobilised on the following morning and be discharged on that day in most cases. It is extremely important for these patients to adhere to the recommended blood thinning medication with two anti-platelet medications to be taken for a minimum of 3 up to 6 months in cases where a drug eluting stent has been implanted. These stents will inherently take a longer time frame to heal into the wall and therefore need a longer duration of anti-clotting treatment for this reason.

Return to normal physical activities is usually possible within one week of the stenting procedure and patients will usually require cardiological follow-up within 1 to 2 months of their coronary intervention. It is mandatory that patients do not stop their blood thinning medication until instructed by the Cardiologist.