Posted on September 13, 2018

A delegation from Sidra Medicine’s Heart Center, took part in the 21st Annual Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium (PICS-AICS) in the USA. The event, which took place between the 5th and 8th of September, was launched in 1997 by Sidra Medicine’s own Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Heart Center Director, Professor Ziyad M. Hijazi.

The four-day conference brings together experts in interventional cardiology who provide live demonstrations and share the latest research breakthroughs for the treatment of congenital heart disease (CHD). The event attracts more than 750 interventional cardiologists from more than 60 countries around the world.

This year’s edition discussed various themes including the use of 3D imaging for interventional catheterization in CHD cases and the optimization of the decision-making process during congenital interventions. Prof. Hijazi, an interventional cardiologist who pioneered the Venus P-Valve procedure – a minimally invasive surgery that can substitute open-heart surgery for certain CHD cases via the implementation of a custom-made valve, shared insights on interventional surgeries. This included thoughts on innovations in the cath lab, as well as working with international manufacturers to develop medical devices such as the trans-catheter self-expanding Venus P-Valve.

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“This year’s theme is particularly relevant to Sidra Medicine, as the use of 3D imaging at the Heart Center has enabled us to print exact replicas of patient hearts prior to surgery. This ensures that we have a thorough understanding of their anatomy and allows us to perform a low risk, highly precise surgery. To date, we have implanted over 200 Venus P valves for patients in Qatar and abroad,” said Prof. Hijazi. With its vision to become a beacon of learning and discovery, Sidra Medicine’s participation at PICS-AICS not only ensures that the institution is sharing its expertise with international peers but also helps build Qatar’s overall scientific expertise and profile and puts Sidra Medicine on the world stage in heart disease.

In addition to the sessions, Prof. Younes Boudjemline, Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Sidra Medicine’s Heart Center and one of its leading specialists, along with Dr. Hesham Al-Saloos, Associate Director of the Cath Lab at Sidra Medicine, performed two cases at the center in Doha, both of which were livestreamed to an audience of over 750 attendees in the U.S. The first case was for an atrial septal defect in an adult patient. The surgery included the placement of an Occlutech device through blood vessels in the groin. The second case was for a child who had a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), a congenital heart condition that affects blood flow in a child’s heart.

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Prof. Boudjemline then delivered a presentation about catheter creation of a communication between the aorta and the pulmonary artery for select patients with severe pulmonary hypertension. His lecture was well received since few cardiologists in the world perform such an operation without needing to surgically open the chest. Commenting on the surgeries, he said, “We are pleased to report that the surgeries were a success and the two patients have recovered and already went home. It is always incredibly satisfying to see the happy faces of patients and their families. This is the result of Sidra Medicine’s multidisciplinary approach that combines international best-practices with the latest tech innovations to deliver patient focused care. We look forward to performing more life-saving procedures for patients in Qatar and abroad.”

The Sidra Medicine Heart Center is one of the institution’s flagship programs and is set to become a leading center in the region for patients suffering from congenital heart disease. Patients in Qatar and the region now have access to high-tech equipment and an international team of experts able to perform the most complex cardiological procedures in Qatar, eliminating the need to travel abroad for care.

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