The Non-Surgical Solution to Fixing Heart Valves

If you get breathless, have chest pain or can’t climb a flight of stairs, you may have issues with your heart valve. Surgery was once the only remedy for heart valve disease but an innovative procedure being used at The Heart Institute at Palmetto General Hospital provides another treatment option in addition to conventional and minimally invasive valve replacement procedures.

What is Aortic Stenosis?

TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) is a non-surgical procedure that can treat patients with aortic stenosis, a common problem caused by a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve due to excessive calcium deposited on the valve leaflets. When the valve narrows, it does not open or close properly, making the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. This eventually causes the heart to weaken and function poorly which may lead to heart failure and increased risk for sudden cardiac death. 

A Safer Alternative

TAVR is a safer alternative for high risk patients such as the elderly, diabetics, smokers or those with other existing heart conditions who cannot sustain traditional surgery. In the procedure, a valve placed on top of a stent is delivered to the heart via a catheter that is passed through a small incision in the groin area and guided through the arteries to the site of the diseased valve. Once in position, the new valve expands into the place of the diseased valve and takes over its function. Because TAVR is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure, patients experience less pain, less trauma to the chest and heart muscle, a lower risk of infection and a quicker recovery.

Outstanding Outcomes at Palmetto General Hospital

While any medical procedure comes with its share of risks, The Heart Institute at Palmetto General Hospital not only offers exceptional outcomes with the TAVR procedure, but a significantly decreased risk of post-procedural complications as well.

When compared to other hospitals throughout the United States, patients who had TAVR performed at Palmetto General Hospital experienced *no complications at the time of discharge in the areas of:
  • Stroke – Palmetto General Hospital had a 0% rate of stroke compared to the U.S. hospital average of 1.8%.
  • Pacer disturbances – Palmetto General Hospital had a 0% rate of pacer disturbance that would require a permanent pacemaker insertion of ICD compared to the U.S. hospital average of 8.8% and .4%, respectively.
  • Device complications – Palmetto General Hospital had a 0% rate of device complications compared to the U.S. hospital average of .8%
  • Moderate to Severe Aortic Regurgitation – Palmetto General Hospital had a 0% rate of leakage in the aortic valve compared to the U.S. hospital average of 1.7%
Also, patients who underwent a TAVR procedure at Palmetto General Hospital experience just a 2-day length of stay in the hospital, enabling them to return to their normal lives quicker.

Signs & Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact The Heart Institute at Palmetto General Hospital:
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness, feeling dizzy or fainting (syncope, a sudden loss of consciousness)
  • Difficulty when exercising
  • Difficulty walking short distances
For more information on TAVR or The Heart Institute, call 833-264-2714.

*Source: STS (Society of Thoracic Surgeons)/ACC TVT Registry - Institutional Outcomes Report 2017Q2


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