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Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center is now offering one of the latest technologies in cardiac care. Called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), this minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs heart valves without the invasive removal of old, damaged valves.
“This procedure is a real game changer for older patients for whom standard valve replacement is too risky,” says Jeff McBee, VP of Operations at Chandler Regional. “Standard valve replacement requires open heart surgery. The TAVR procedure is much less invasive and can drastically lessen recovery time and only requires an average of three to five days 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.
This 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. TAVR is FDA approved for people who have symptomatic aortic stenosis and are too high risk for an open heart procedure. This type of heart condition causes the heart to work harder which over time can weaken the heart muscle and cause chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath. Most individuals who benefit from the TAVR procedure are older than 70 and have other medical conditions.
“Over the past several years, Chandler Regional has seen a significant growth in our cardiology department,” says McBee. “We are committed to bringing the very best treatments to our patients and with the introduction of TAVR we are in a position to help even more residents in our community.”