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  • Heart of Melbourne

State Of The Art Technology Saves Patient From Open Heart Surgery

Dr Asrar ul Haq treated his patient with the ground breaking technology called “shockwave intravascular lithotripsy (IVL)”. This technology is new in Australia and very few hospitals in Victoria have used it..



Coronary stenting is a procedure used to treat narrowing and blockages in the heart arteries in order to prevent heart attacks. Despite the advancements in the last 30 years, accumulation of calcium in the arteries remains a serious condition. The calcium in the arteries harden, making the stenting procedure difficult, risky and occasionally impossible. If left untreated, calcified narrowing of the arteries can cause heart attack and/or heart failure. These patients often are required to undergo open heart surgery instead.


Mr RN is a 77 year old patient, who had severely calcified narrowing in his heart arteries. Dr Asrar ul Haq treated him with the ground breaking technology called “shockwave intravascular lithotripsy (IVL)”. Despite being around approved in USA and Europe, this technology is new in Australia and very few hospitals in Victoria have used it.



The IVL device is reported to be like a balloon that is inserted through the patient’s wrist into their heart arteries. It then generates sonic pressure waves to break the calcium accumulated inside the arteries. By doing this, it is possible to now treat the calcified narrowing of the arteries which would not otherwise have responded to traditional balloons even at high pressures.


Currently, IVL is not funded and special arrangements were made to use this remarkable technology to treat Mr RN. We are hoping that the number of patients who are able to access and benefit from this procedure will continue to increase in the near future.




#shockwave #IVL #lithotripsy