Last week, doctors from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute performed their 1,000th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) at Intermountain Medical Center for the treatment of aortic stenosis.
Aortic valve stenosis occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which reduces or blocks blood flow from your heart into the main artery to your body (aorta) and onward to the rest of your body.
When the blood flow through the aortic valve is reduced or blocked, your heart needs to work harder to pump blood to your body. Eventually, this extra work limits the amount of blood it can pump, and this can cause symptoms as well as possibly weaken your heart muscle.
This minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place. The surgery, performed in the cath lab, is called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
Valve-within-valve — How does it work?
Somewhat similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR approach delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter.
Once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow.
How is TAVR different from the standard valve replacement?
What is the significance of the fact that the 1,000th TAVR procedure has been performed at Intermountain Medical Center?
a. Testament to the dedication of our support staff and nurses.
b. Testament to the leadership of Dr. Don Lappe as Chief of Cardiology at the Intermountain Heart Institute.
c. Testament to Drs. James Harkness and Ed Miner who implant these valves, as well as surgical colleagues and other physician partners who have spent countless hours spent evaluating and treating these patients.
d. Largely, a testament to collaborative efforts of Drs. Brian Whisenant and Kent Jones as founders of the structural heart program at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute – a commitment to innovative and high quality patient care.
e. Most importantly, the 1,000th TAVR is a celebration of our patients.