Doctors from Bryan Heart have recently performed several transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) at Bryan Medical Center. TAVR is a minimally-invasive, life-saving procedure for patients with aortic stenosis that are deemed too high-risk for traditional open heart surgery.
Aortic stenosis is a disease where the aortic valve is narrowed, thus obstructing blood flow. Aortic valve replacement is the best treatment for aortic stenosis, but until now, it was only for patients strong enough to undergo traditional open heart surgery. Now, Bryan Heart cardiologists can replace aortic valves in these high-risk patients through their femoral artery in the groin, similar to a heart cath procedure.
“Threading the valve replacement via catheter though the groin and up through the arteries is a non-surgical option that is done while the heart continues pumping,” explains Dr. Robin Hibbard, cardiologist, Bryan Heart. “During the TAVR procedure, the patient’s original aortic valve is “pushed aside” to make room for the new valve allowing the blood to flow without obstruction.” TAVR patients have only a short hospital stay because of the minimally-invasive approach and return to their regular activities with very little pain because they don’t have a large incision.
Bill Wrigley of Fairbury, Nebr., was one of the first patients to benefit from the TAVR procedure at Bryan Medical Center. “Before my valve was replaced, I could barely walk across the room without running out of air. Now, I can walk much farther and my quality of life is much better.”
Find out more at the Bryan Heart website.