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A Sun Lakes man says he is grateful after receiving a new, lifesaving heart procedure at Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center. Suffering from one of the most common and most serious heart valve issues, called aortic stenosis, Arnold Pinsly was very ill and was rushed in for an urgent TAVR surgery (or, transcatheter aortic valve replacement).
One of the latest technologies in cardiac care, TAVR is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to repair heart valves without the invasive removal of old, damaged valves.
"Prior to the surgery, I was very short of breath and could hardly move more than three feet without struggling," says Pinsly, a native New Yorker and avid golfer who recently celebrated his 87th birthday. "I noticed a difference in my health almost immediately after the procedure."
The innovative technology is relatively new and doctors say it can be a valuable option for patients who need aortic valve repair and currently have limited choices.
"Many of these patients currently go untreated because of mistaken beliefs that there is nothing more which can be done. But, TAVR is a true breakthrough for older patients when standard valve replacement is too risky," says Dan Sraow, MD, director of the structural heart program at Chandler Regional and one of Pinsly's doctors. "Standard valve replacement requires open heart surgery and several days in recovery. TAVR is much less invasive and can drastically lessen recovery time."
Pinsly spent less than a week recovering at Chandler Regional after the January surgery, and then spent just three days in outpatient rehabilitation. The average length of stay for a TAVR patient at Chandler Regional is about 30 to 36 hours; just one night in the hospital.
The surgery is done in a catheterization laboratory and involves implanting a replacement valve inside of the failing valve site, which eliminates the need to remove old tissue. Once expanded, the tissue in the TAVR device takes over the job of regulating blood flow. TAVR is FDA approved for people who have symptomatic aortic stenosis and are too high risk for an open heart procedure.
Now back on the golf course, Pinsly says he's feeling much better. Last weekend, he spent the afternoon enjoying a Diamondbacks game with his family and says he looks forward to a lot more quality family time.