New Heart Procedure on the Rise

A successful heart procedure for Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger brought the awareness of aortic stenosis and the fairly new procedure called TAVR.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve.

Dr. Joseph Tuma, Interventional Cardiology at Regional Health Rapid City Hospital, says, “Basically what we do is, through usually 95% of the time or more, go through a little puncture in the groin in the femoral artery … the valve is housed inside of a small catheter, so we basically put that through the aorta across the native valve and then deploy a new one and it immediately starts functioning. So basically we’re replacing the native aortic valve with a bio-prosthetic valve that’s been engineered so that it fits inside a catheter.”

TAVR Procedure

This procedure is FDA approved for people with symptomatic aortic stenosis who are considered an intermediate or high risk patient for standard valve replacement surgery. The differences in the two procedures are significant. Usually valve replacement requires an open-heart procedure, in which the chest is surgically separated (open) for the procedure.

Regional Health Rapid City Hospital has been using this technology since 2014 and do an average of 5-6 a month. And the technology keeps improving and has a low complication rate. As Dr. Tuma explains, it quite advanced.

“It’s a quantum shift, I mean if you look at the treatment of any variety of cardio problems the advent of transcatheter valve is probably one of the most important advances, I mean in the last 50 years. Coronary stents vaulted us into a whole new realm. And I would say this is right up there with coronary stents,” says Tuma.

The multidisciplinary teams at Regional come together to form the best plan for the patient and if TAVR is a good option, it can improve quality of life in patients who otherwise have limited choices for repair of their aortic valve.

With the recent news of the famous musician’s surgery, it has brought more attention to this procedure.

Tuma says, “The significance of somebody like Mick Jagger having a transcatheter valve, to me, I think it’s really two things: number one it increases the awareness of aortic stenosis out there. I mean everybody’s talking about it, specifically the Rolling Stones era type of fans, so I think the awareness is exploding and it is a very common problem. And then secondly of course putting a spotlight on TAVR. It’s really moving into the forefront as a preferred technology and a proper treatment for aortic stenosis.”

Recovery time for TAVR is three to five days and patients can resume regular activities within a week.

Categories: Local News, Wellness Wednesdays