Your heart’s valves are very vital parts of your cardiovascular system because they keep your blood flowing in the correct direction. In cases where one or more valves do not open or close properly, this can cause the blood flow through your heart to your body to be disrupted. So the type of treatment that you get, and the extent of the procedure will depend on the kind of damage caused and severity of the valve disease.
Valvular intervention has historically been the domain of cardiothoracic surgery. The lines between interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery are continually being blurred by the development of modern techniques to treat valvular and other structural heart diseases (congenital heart disease).
The interventions involve valve implantation via the percutaneous route (skin puncture with no open chest wall cut). Although these procedures are being more safely performed with technological improvements, they are not without complications, and therefore strict guidelines and patient selection are key in maximising patient outcomes.
Although Dr Hendrickse does not independently perform valvular intervention at this point in time, he is engaged in a number of proctoring activities to develop the skills necessary to dispense this therapy to his patients safely and reliably. He is, however, in contact with various local teams who will provide the support if required.