TEMPLE (April 9, 2013)--Scott & White Memorial Hospital announced Tuesday that they will now offer a new alternative to heart surgery for patients unable to undergo heart surgery due to a complicated medical condition.
The alternative surgery, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), is for adult patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis, a condition where the aortic valve is narrowed or does not fully open.
This is often due to calcium build-up which impairs the way blood exists the heart.
About 1.5 million people in the U.S suffer from aortic stenosis.
“We’ve been seeing patients that were poor candidates for the traditional surgery typically used, so we knew that by providing this new, innovative procedure, we would be able to help many more patients in our area,” Division of Cardiology Director MDGregory Dehmer said.
TAVR has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is a less invasive option for patients not able to be considered for traditional heart surgery because of aortic stenosis or other medical complications.
“Older adults may have other health problems, or are quite frail, which prevents them from having open heart surgery,” Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Director MD Kenton Zehr said.
Throughout the procedure ,an Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve, a collapsible aortic heart valve, is put in place through the leg using a catheter and is then threaded to the heart.
The valve is then expanded with a balloon once the catheter reaches the valve and diseased valve.
The catheter is then retracted, leaving the balloon inflated and the aortic valve functioning and open.
Scott & White has performed 27 procedures using the new technology and is the only hospital between Austin and Dallas to offer the TAVR procedure.
“This new type of technique and valve allow us to offer a life-saving and quality of life improving treatment to numerous patients who would otherwise have endured a high risk of complications, the need for a heart-lung machine, or worse, no treatment at all,” Interventional Cardiologist MD Timothy Mixon said.