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Heart Valve Replacement without Surgery, Performed at St. Marina Hospital in Varna

Unique procedures for heart valve replacement without surgery were performed at St. Marina University Hospital in Varna by a team led by Dr. Veselin Valkov from First Clinic of Cardiology and Prof. Dr. Karl Stangl from Department of Interventional Cardiology at University Hospital Charité, Berlin. The procedures were performed through the avant-garde method of Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)  in line with the policy of the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Fund for the development of state-of-the-art Medicine in Bulgaria and the management of St. Marina University Hospital and the Medical University in Varna for using the most contemporary and innovative treatment methods.

This procedure requires high level of technological equipment of both the hospital and the operating theatre, where it is performed, just like the ones that St. Marina in Varna has. "The apparatus must be at a high level, the hospital needs to have different clinics which could be involved in potentially occurring complications - Cardiac Surgery, Intensive Care, Hemodialysis. These are the minimum requirements so that a certain centre could be certified to perform these procedures," said Dr. Valkov after completing the procedures.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a procedure that allows an aortic valve to be implanted using a long narrow tube called a catheter without opening the heart. It involves a much lower immediate risk with comparable to surgery results. This sparing interventional treatment of patients with aortic stenosis has been performed around the world over the last 10 years. However, the University Hospital in Varna is the first hospital that has implemented this technology in the region, and Prof. Stangl, who was conferred the honorary title of Doctor Honoris Causa of MU-Varna by the Rector Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov, is one of the most prominent specialists in the field of Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology in Europe and worldwide.​​