Good Samaritan Hospital has been for a pioneer in a new treatment option
called the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR is used
for aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis is a progressive disease that affects
the aortic valves of the heart and affects up to 1.5 million people in
the United States. Approximately 250,000 of those people develop debilitating
symptoms that can restrict normal day-to-day activities, such as walking
short distances or climbing stairs. While usually these patients can benefit
from surgery to replace their ailing valve, many people do not have the
surgery because they are too frail for operations or put off surgery fearing
the risks and slow recovery.
TAVR is a new approach that addressed the aortic stenosis without the major
surgery but instead by placing a new valve using a catheter. A highly-skilled
cardiologist will thread a catheter that has a balloon device and a collapsed
replacement valve up an artery to the point where the replacement valve
needs to be placed. The replacement valve is then placed inside the patient’s
aortic valve. The TAVR procedure is usually most performed by running
the catheter through the femoral artery in the leg, but sometimes the
approach will be through a small incision between the ribs.
Open-heart surgery remains the gold standard for aortic valve replacement,
but not all patients are candidates for open heart surgery. Transcatheter
aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a miraculous technology that can be
used for patients who are not candidates for surgery who need treatment
for aortic stenosis. Good Samaritan has been a pioneer in this procedure,
which has just recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).