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MercyHealth successfully performs first TAVR heart procedure

TAVR is a way to replace a diseased heart valve without having a patient undergo major open-heart surgery.
(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:36 AM CDT
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WIFR) -

The first transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure (TAVR) succesfully performed at Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center–Janesville took place on Thursday.

TAVR is a way to replace a diseased heart valve without having a patient undergo major open-heart surgery. During TAVR, a cardiologist and cardiovascular surgeon insert a replacement valve into a catheter and guides it through an artery to the patient’s heart, where a balloon is expanded to press the valve into place, according to MercyHealth.

“Our community deserves to receive ‘big city’ care, close to home,” Dr. John Snider said. “It has been a massive institutional effort here at Mercyhealth to renovate our surgical suites and introduce a hybrid operating suite to allow us to do this level of procedures. Our team is excited to continue to provide high quality, evidence-based approaches that help patients live more enjoyable lives.”

Aortic stenosis affects more than 2.5 million Americans over the age of 75 annually. Valve replacement can be required if diet and lack of exercise cause heart valves to atrophy or harden. The loss of valve flexibility may cause chest pain, rapid heart rhythms or skips, shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness and other symptoms.

Compared with open-heart surgery, patients who undergo TAVR spend less time in the hospital and are able to recover more quickly and get back to their everyday activities. All three of Mercyhealth’s first patients were discharged after one to three days.

“We are excited to bring this important procedure to our region,” Dr. Gene Gulliver said. “TAVR combines aspects of both cardiology and cardiac surgery and the close collaboration allows for excellent outcomes.”

For more information about Mercyhealth, call (608) 756-6868 or visit here.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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