A procedure to repair damaged heart valves, which does not involve major surgery, is now available for patients at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC).
People suffering from the most common form of heart valve disease will no longer have to travel to London for the minimally invasive treatment, but can go to the world-class specialist centre at Basildon University Hospital.
Last month, Mr John Orchard, aged 88, was the first patient to have a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) procedure carried out by specialists at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre.
Narrowing of the aortic valve, known as stenosis, leads to obstruction of blood flow out of the heart. It is the most common form of heart disease and occurs in two to four per cent of adults over the age of 65 years.