Minimally Invasive Heart Help

Narrowing of the aortic valve can overburden your heart. A new procedure at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital can fix the problem without open-heart surgery.

Aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve, prevents blood from flowing to the body from the heart muscle. It makes the heart muscle work harder and can be life-threatening. Traditionally, open-heart surgery was required to fix this problem, but last fall, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital began offering transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This procedure places a new, bioprosthetic valve inside the defective one without doing open-heart surgery. It only involves a small incision in the groin or another part of the body. A TAVR is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery, which requires a large chest incision and the use of a heart-lung machine.

“Any patient with aortic stenosis could be a candidate for TAVR,” says Monica McDonald, MD, FACS, a Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon at Prevea Health. “We take into account other health conditions patients may have and the anatomy of the vessels leading to their heart, but most patients qualify for TAVR.”

Patients who undergo TAVR usually spend one night in the hospital compared with the average of five to seven days following open-heart surgery.

“Patients are up walking around the night of their procedure,” Dr. McDonald says. “It is hard to believe that they just had their aortic valve replaced.”

To learn more about TAVR, visit Prevea Health.

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