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The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) has claimed to be the first institution in Pakistan to have conducted the very first successful Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) procedure, announced the NICVD executive director Prof Dr Nadeem Qamar on Monday. He said TAVI was a minimally-invasive procedure is similar to an angioplasty. It is performed to repair old and damaged heart valves without removing them through a small opening in the patient’s groin. The TAVI procedure was conducted on August 19 at the NICVD and the surgeons included Dr Ahmed Elsayed, a consultant interventional cardiologist and lecturer at Ain Shams University of Egypt. Other members of the NICVD doctors’ team included Dr Syed Nadeem Rizvi and Dr Tahir Sagheer. According to Dr Qamar, whenever a patient requires an aortic valve replacement it requires an open-heart surgery. However, he said, with the TAVI the damaged heart valve could be repaired through a very small opening in the groin of the patient. “Instead of open-heart surgery, the procedure involves wedging a replacement valve in place of the aortic valve,” he said. “The NICVD is proud to be the first institute in Pakistan to have conducted a successful TAVI procedure. We plan to use this method on a routine basis from now.”