Carondelet Health Network’s Structural Heart Team visits Mauritius to perform the country’s first-ever TAVR procedures

Apr 18, 2023

image-2Sundeep Shenoy, MD (interventional cardiologist), Kapil Lotun, MD, Frank Ulibarri, RN, Michael Tucker, RN, Showan Bunwaree, MD (Mauritian interventional cardiologist)

TUCSON – Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital’s Structural Heart Team traveled to Mauritius, a country in East Africa that is an island off the coast of Madagascar, to perform four TAVR procedures. Dr. Kapildeo Lotun (Interventional Cardiologist), who is from Mauritius, led the team on this special mission.

These four life-saving heart TAVRS were the first times this procedure has been performed in Mauritius.

"We are honored to have the opportunity to bring our expertise to my home island of Mauritius and provide life-saving care to patients in need," said Dr. Lotun. "Our team worked closely with the Mauritian government and physicians at The Cardiac Centre, a community hospital in the area, to ensure that patients received the best possible care."

TAVR, or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat heart valve disease, a condition in which the heart's aortic valve becomes narrowed or blocked, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood effectively. The procedure is less invasive than traditional open-heart surgery, resulting in a quicker recovery time for patients.

"We are proud of our team's commitment to providing life-saving care to patients in need," said David Ziolkowski, Carondelet St. Mary’s chief executive officer. "This mission is a testament to the dedication and compassion of our team to not only our patients in Tucson and southern Arizona, but patients around the world."

Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital is recognized for its cardiovascular care, including its modern and minimally invasive heart and vascular surgery. Its renowned Structural Heart Program highlights Carondelet Health Network’s commitment and success in ensuring their cardiovascular patients receive treatment that meets research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.


Reese Draemel- echo sonographer


J. Hessel, MD - (cardiothoracic surgeon at Abrazo), Reese Draemel - echo sonographer, Erin Scala - RN, Michael Tucker - RN, Angelica Lentner - NP, Frank Ulibarri - RN, Sundeep Shenoy - MD


Michael Tucker - RN, Kapil Lotun - MD, Erin Scala - RN, Frank Ulibarri - RN, Micah Rogers - MD (cardiac anesthesiologist), Ali Abdool - MD (Mauritian interventional cardiologist), J. Hessel - MD, Reese Draemel - echo sonographer, Angelica Lentner - NP


The Mauritian heart team and the U.S. heart team


US physician, Mauritian physicians, nursing staff



Dr. Micah Rogers (cardiac anesthesiologist) gave a talk to the Mauritian cardiac anesthesiologists


Ali Abdool - MD, Kapil Lotun - MD, Sunil Gunness, MD (Mauritian cardiothoracic surgeon), J. Hessel - MD


J. Hessel, MD, Kailesh Jagutpal (Minister of Health and Wellness from Mauritius - he is the governmental administrator that assisted in this venture and helped it all come together), Kapil Lotun, MD, Sunil Gunness, MD


Final picture of the first TAVR


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