World-Firsts in Heart Care

Thanks to Dr. Neil Fam and his team, patients with damaged heart valves have new life-saving options.

In 1968, St. Mike’s performed Canada’s first successful heart transplant. We haven’t stopped innovating since.

Our specialists are globally renowned for pioneering cardiac interventions that save lives. Just this past year, Dr. Fam and his team became the world’s first to use the groundbreaking Pascal system to treat a patient’s damaged tricuspid valve.

At 82, Gail* had been hospitalized five times for heart failure and was considered too high-risk for conventional surgery. After the Pascal system was inserted, her recovery went so well that she was discharged from hospital three days later. According to Dr. Fam, her quality of life has improved dramatically. And she’s had no further hospitalizations since.

Gail’s situation is not unique. More and more patients are simply too fragile or medically unfit for open-heart surgery. Without care, many face life-threatening risks. The good news is that St. Michael’s heart specialists have saved countless lives by using other innovative devices to seal leaking heart valves. For instance, Dr. Fam and his colleagues are now North American leaders in transcatheter tricuspid intervention (TTI), a minimally invasive procedure that uses a novel device called MitraClip to repair damaged heart valves. And they were the first in Canada to do it.

At St. Michael’s, we’re known for our ability to tailor procedures to the needs of our patients – and for our commitment to leaving no stone unturned.

* Out of concern for privacy, the patient’s name has changed.