Baton Rouge, LA (NBC 33/Fox 44)
Heart valve replacement has become almost commonplace for the cardiologists of today. While in the past, that kind of procedure meant open heart surgery, most often these days, it’s done without making a chest incision at all.
Dr. Garland Green with the Cardiovascular Institute of the South explains it this way: “We go through the blood vessels in the leg and go up to the heart. And we can then cross the valve that has the problem and then deploy a valve.”
It’s called a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR, for short. Experts say the benefits of this procedure usually far outweigh those of open-heart surgery for many reasons. Dr. Green says not only is it a closed chest treatment, but it takes place while the patient’s heart is still beating, eliminating the need for a heart-lung machine, and most often results in faster recovery times. And that’s not all.
“So most of the time now, the decision becomes not If to do TAVR, but when NOT to do TAVR,” according to Dr. Green. “We try to do this procedure as much as we can for individuals who meet the necessary requirements.”
For more information on those requirements and other treatments available in the CIS Structural Heart Program, be sure to visit their website by clicking here.