For a number of reasons, cardiac valvulopathies constitute a new epidemic in heart diseases. First of all, we live longer, with a mean life expectancy of 80 years. The end of World War II brought a baby boom during the 50s and 60s. These people are now over the age of 60 and recent statistics show that Greece in particular has the 4th most aging population in the world. Consequently, there is a significant number of very elderly people suffering from severe valvulopathy (usually Aortic Valve Stenosis), and the performance of a simple and painless heart triplex in most cardiology offices offers early and reliable diagnosis.
In addition, a heart triplex provides dependable diagnosis of Mitral Regurgitation in relatively young patients (Mitral Myxomatous Degeneration), as they can benefit the most out of a surgical mitral valve repair procedure (valvuloplasty) instead of a valve replacement, and avoid lifelong anticoagulant medication (Sintrom). Thus, the patient can avoid post-operative regular blood tests required by Sintrom as well as the risk for strokes and hemorrhages. Mitral Valvuloplasty is particularly chosen by young women because they can have a normal pregnancy and avoid medications harmful to their fetus (Sintrom has teratogenic effects during the first trimester of pregnancy).
Concluding, the modern management of Aortic Valve Insufficiency in Aortic Root Aneurysms (Marfans syndrome) with the David reimplantation technique, the cornerstone of which is to preserve the aortic valve instead of replacing it, is an internationally established and ideal treatment option for young aortic valve insufficiency sufferers.
Based on the above data, and aiming at the most reliable management of this group of patients, Metropolitan General has founded the first Heart Valve Center of Excellence in Greece, which accommodates all required modern equipment and infrastructure to effectively treat even the most complex cardiac surgery cases.
Specifically, Metropolitan General accommodates:
- Operating Rooms with the most specialized equipment for cardiac surgery cases
- Polyvalent Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
- A dedicated floor staffed by experienced nursing personnel for cardiac surgery inpatients, equipped with cutting-edge medical equipment, and especially a technologically advanced telemetry system to monitor patients and deliver 24/7 timely diagnosis and treatment to any arrhythmias occurring
- Cardiac and Medical Imaging Laboratory, both fitted out with modern diagnostic-imaging equipment
- Hemodynamics Laboratory on a 24-hour basis
- 24/7 coverage by on-duty cardiologists and intensivists
Cardiac surgery procedures
The fundamental principle and objective of the Heart Valve Center of Excellence, i.e. “To repair (Valvuloplasty) and preserve the patient’s heart valve instead of replacing it”, constitutes the most modern therapeutic management of valvulopathy in specialized centers abroad.
The Center focuses on the following procedures:
- Insufficient mitral valve repair (Valvuloplasty)
- Aortic Valve Valvuloplasty due to valvular insufficiency and Marfan’s syndrome (Aortic Root aneurysm)
- Tricuspid Valvuloplasty
- Valve replacement due to calcification (calcification-valve stenosis)
- Ascending aorta aneurysm replacement, as it commonly co-exists with aortic valve diseases (e.g. bicuspid aortic valve)
- Surgical treatment of Cardiac Tumors (Myxomas) and Intraventricular Communications (“hole in the heart”)
Chief: Maria Aroni, MD, FACS, FACC, FCCP, Thoracic surgeon
Associate: Filippos Konstantinidis, ΜD, PhD, Thoracic surgeon
Cardiac anesthesiologists: Konstantinos Patris, Christos Apostolidis
Perfusionists: Karin Schaefer, Vasilis Markou
Contact number: +30 210 6502140 & 121, +30 210 6502000