Since 2015, the collaboration between Dr. Sabine and Jean-Hugues Bozon in Versailles and the team of Dr. Masami Uechi of JASMINE veterinary cardiac surgery center in Japan has been saving dogs in Europe under the Euro-Japanese group called VetsHeart.
The MVD repair surgery is available today in France because of a meeting between Dr. Ly, Dr. Uechi, and Dr. Bozon in Asia. In 2012, Dr. Bozon and Dr. Ly created the ARVRC center in Singapore, a small private facility servicing emergency veterinary clients similar to that of Dr. Bozon in Versailles. Driven by the same desire and energy, Dr. Bozon and Dr. Ly went to Japan to observe the advances of Japanese surgeons in intra-cardiac surgery. A meeting was arranged with Dr. Uechi, the only surgeon in the world who published papers about his MVD surgical technique with exceptional results (over 90%) in many hundreds of cases.
The project inspired Dr. Bozon to create an operating theater in Singapore which interested Dr. Uechi who had been looking to export his experience outside of Japan. After 18 months of preparation and multiple trips to Japan, the surgical block was operational in Singapore and on December 18, 2013 the first intervention (covered by media in Singapore) was complete and the first dog outside of Japan was cured of his illness.
Then, in 2014, Dr. Bozon decided to export the technique to Europe and an identical process was set up in Versailles. Dr. Uechi came to France to validate the feasibility of the project and visited the Veterinary College of Lyon to get in touch with all the professors and give conferences with Drs. Bozon about the new technique. Drs. Jean-Hugues and Sabine got a bank loan to personally invest in all necessary equipment, particularly the extracorporeal circulation machine.
At the beginning, the Bozons were not thinking about a business plan, they were driven by passion alone. The price they initially asked for to perform the surgery was not initially calculated in accordance with the huge expenses they were undertaking. They only wanted to save the dogs. By 2017, they were able to work out the true price reflecting the expenses they face in order to continue to offer surgery with financial viability. The passion is still their main inspiration and driving energy to continue on this path.
The working group named themselves VetsHeart and includes 3 entities:
VetAgroSup (Veterinary School of Lyon) where Dr. Sabine Bozon teaches and is responsible for the Cardiology Department since 2016.
JASMINE (Dr. Uechi’s Cardiac Surgery Clinic in Yokohama, Japan)
Clinique Veterinaire Bozon (Drs. Bozon's Clinic in Versailles, France)
On July 7, 2015 the first intervention in Versailles was completed, and the second, on September 28, 2015 were both successful. To date, Dr. Bozon operated with Dr. Uechi on over 60 dogs with 90% success. There is currently a paper written by their team about all success rates in detail - it will be published in 2017 or 2018.
All information and photos provided by and with the express permission of Dr. Sabine Bozon, Clinique Veterinaire Bozon.