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Treating Aortic Stenosis

Using Minimally Invasive Technology

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Aortic valve disease affects nearly one-third of adults over the age of 60. The aortic valve is responsible for controlling the flow of blood as it leaves the heart and travels to the rest of the body. When valve disease occurs, the leaflets – or flaps – that open and close with each heartbeat become damaged, causing the heart to work harder and less efficiently. Patients suffering from aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve, may notice symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, dizziness, fatigue and swelling of the feet, legs or abdomen.

Without treatment, aortic valve disease can lead to a significantly decreased quality of life and life-threatening complications. In order to fix the problem, the aortic valve must be replaced.

There are multiple options for valve replacement, including open-heart surgery and TAVR.

Graphic of Artificial Valve Placed in Heart

What is TAVR?

TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) is a revolutionary, minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat aortic valve disease. Unlike open-heart surgery, the TAVR procedure does not require a full incision down the chest or the opening of the sternum to access the chest cavity; instead, a small incision is made (typically in the groin), and a catheter is carefully guided through a blood vessel to the heart.
Using this method – along with high-definition imaging – our specially trained Structural Heart Team is able to successfully implant an artificial aortic valve within the damaged one, restoring function to the heart.

“For the first time, our patients can receive this lifesaving treatment in their own community, closer to home and closer to their family and friends. We aren’t just treating aortic stenosis patients here at Fairfield Medical Center, we’re treating grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters, moms and dads, family and friends. We’re giving these folks more time to spend with their loved ones.

– Jason Weingart, M.D., Interventional Cardiologist

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Benefits of TAVR

Most patients begin to feel better immediately following their valve replacement. Because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, TAVR is associated with a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery time than surgical valve replacement (SAVR), or open-heart surgery.

Risks associated with TAVR include bleeding complications, stroke, heart rhythm disturbances and damage to the arteries or heart. Your physician will discuss these, and any other associated risks, with you during your consultation.

Who Qualifies for TAVR?

Patients with aortic valve disease must be evaluated through the Structural Heart Program in order to determine TAVR eligibility.

During this time, our comprehensive Structural Heart Team works closely with each patient to determine the best treatment option on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, the goal is for each and every individual to live a longer, healthier life after valve replacement, regardless of the type of procedure performed.

If you are exhibiting any symptoms of structural heart disease, or are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from a related condition, speak with your primary care provider immediately. Physician referral is required for enrollment in the Structural Heart Program. For more information, please call Fairfield Medical Center’s Structural Heart Clinic at 740-689-4480.