Missouri Baptist Becomes Site For Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement TAVR
ST. LOUIS – July 2, 2012 – A new heart valve procedure treating aortic stenosis is not only saving lives, but can make patients feel years younger. Missouri Baptist Medical Center was recently approved to be one of the few centers in the country to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
TAVR is a procedure that allows a team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery or the use of the heart-lung machine. The procedure places the new valve through a small incision in the groin. It is FDA approved for use in
patients considered too weak or too sick to undergo traditional valve replacement surgery. An FDA panel recently recommended its approval for high-risk patients.
“In our first week, we performed four procedures using this
new approach,” said Michael Mauney, MD a cardiothoracic surgeon at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. “Each patient went home within two to four days. This new treatment option allows many of our sickest patients the opportunity to enjoy the same improvement in quality of life as those undergoing traditional open aortic valve replacement.”
The valve, the Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve, is the only FDA approved transcatheter aortic valve in the United States, and the Valve Clinic at Missouri Baptist Medical Center is one of the few centers in Missouri approved to use this technology.
“It feels like nothing happened,” said 78-year-old Anderson Daniels, who underwent the TAVR in May. “I was up and moving the next day, and I was back to normal right away. It was one of the easiest things I had to go through. I’m so glad I was eligible for this procedure.”
Over 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from aortic stenosis, a progressive disease that affects the aortic valve of their hearts. Some 250,000 of these patients are considered severe. While open-heart aortic valve replacement surgery is the gold standard treatment for severe symptomatic aortic valve stenosis, there are patients who are not candidates for open chest surgery. These inoperable patients may be unable to undergo traditional surgery because of multiple high risk medical conditions, frailty or other unique disqualifying health factors. Daniels was one of those patients.
When Daniels came to Missouri Baptist for a second opinion about his kidney disease, his physician told him to have his heart tested first. “He said he heard a murmur, but I always knew I had one, so I didn’t think it was a big deal,” said Daniels. “I always had shortness of breath, too, but I ignored it. I thought it was just part of getting older. So when I had my heart checked and was told I needed a valve replaced, you can imagine my surprise. It was scary.”
Dr. Mauney told Daniels about the TAVR procedure, and they both agreed it was the best option. “I don’t get short of breath anymore because my valve isn’t blocked anymore,” he said. “It really feels like nothing happened, I’m just back to normal.”
Aortic stenosis and other heart valve conditions are an increasing cause of heart failure. To find out more about TAVR, or to schedule an appointment, call the Heart Valve Clinic at Missouri Baptist Medical Center at (314) 996-5287.
Missouri Baptist Medical Center is an 489-bed acute-care hospital known for its top rated Heart Center. Recognized as a heart surgery center by Consumer Reports; a “Top 100 U.S. Hospital” by Thomson Reuters in 2009, 2010 and 2011; “5-Star Rated for Treatment of Heart Attacks” for the eighth consecutive year by HealthGrades, and “One of America’s Safest Hospitals” by Forbes, Missouri Baptist Medical Center is a member of BJC HealthCare, one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States and the largest employer in St. Louis.