Ground-breaking transcatheter implant of a tricuspid heart valve


St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has long been at the forefront of translational cardiothoracic research, understanding our patients’ needs and using that information to enhance our heart and lung care. With one in six Australians suffering cardiovascular disease and one in ten experiencing lung disease, St Vincent’s remains deeply committed to helping our patients live long and healthy lives.

On 1 March 2023, Professor David Muller, Director of Interventional Cardiology and his team performed a world first transcatheter implant of a tricuspid heart valve on a patient who would not have qualified for open heart surgery. The tricuspid valve is the valve that separates the right atrium from the right ventricle and prevents blood flowing back into the upper chamber during contraction of the ventricle. When the valve is not working properly it lets blood leak back through your valve and can make your heart work harder to circulate blood around your body. If not treated, this condition can cause heart failure.

This ground-breaking procedure funded by St Vincent’s Curran Foundation Heart Lung Innovation Fund supporters is part of a new clinical trial being undertaken by the St Vincent’s team. This exciting Australian first was announced at the recent Inside St Vincent’s Seminar hosted by the Foundation and you can view the video on our YouTube channel.

St Vincent’s Interventional Cardiology Service (ICS) provides care for both public and private hospital patients and conducts more than 4,000 procedures each year. The ICS is home to a ground-breaking minimally invasive interventional cardiology research program, almost entirely enabled by philanthropic gifts, that has enabled St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney to be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for transcatheter aortic valve implementation (TAVI) and mitral valve/mitral clip implantation.

To support our hospital to continue to provide outstanding cardiothoracic care, St Vincent’s Curran Foundation has launched a new fundraising campaign aiming to raise at least $7 million to enable the redevelopment of the hospital’s existing interventional cardiology laboratories. These labs are part of the three existing interventional cardiology units to be upgraded. This is critical to ensure we meet the projected growing demand for lifesaving minimally invasive cardiac procedures and to build on our flagship heart lung programs.

The project will involve upgrading equipment, including angiogram and imaging machines, as well as improvements in air filtration, lighting and other technology to enhance infection control and patient safety.

Redevelopment of the St Vincent’s Heart Lung interventional cardiology units is an important project within our overall plan for developing a Heart Lung Centre of Excellence. Since the launch of the St Vincent’s Heart Lung Innovation Fund in 2014 on the 30th anniversary of Fiona Coote’s first transplant operation, and with the generous support of our donors, we have raised almost $20 million for priority heart and lung innovation projects and clinical trials across the St Vincent’s Precinct.