TAVR Now an Option for More Heart Patients

TAVR Now an Option for More Heart Patients

Monday, August 27, 2018

More cardiac patients are now eligible for the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, a minimally invasive treatment for aortic stenosis that was formerly reserved for high-risk patients too sick for open-heart surgery.

Doctors have been using the TAVR treatment since 2011 to replace leaking or narrowed heart valves in high-risk patients. Using TAVR as an alternative to open-heart surgery, doctors implant the new valve through a catheter inserted into the heart via the arteries of the body, usually in the groin area.

Prompted by the success doctors have had using TAVR in patients with severe aortic stenosis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the criteria for who is eligible for TAVR from only those patients considered too sick or high-risk for open-heart surgery to “intermediate risk” patients as well.  

“While surgery remains an option for intermediate-risk patients, the outcomes we are seeing here and across the nation suggest that TAVR provides equivalent, and some times better, outcomes for these patients,” said Associate Chief Nursing Officer David Patterson, who oversees cardiac services at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.  

Before cardiac patients are cleared to undergo the TAVR procedure, they are evaluated by a multi-disciplinary heart team from Sarasota Memorial’s Valve Clinic, including interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurse practitioners, echocardiographers, imaging specialists and heart failure specialists. During the procedure, cardiac anesthesiologists, specially trained cardiac cath-lab nurses and technologists also join the team. Sarasota Memorial’s heart team has performed more than 800 TAVRs since its program inception in 2012, with exceptional outcomes. More than 90 percent of SMH’s patients undergo TAVR under conscious sedation and do not require a stay in the intensive-care unit. 

Interventional cardiologists who perform the procedure at Sarasota Memorial include Dr. Michael Mumma, Dr. David Schreibman, Dr. Ricardo Yaryura and Dr. Fred Yturralde; assistance is provided by Sarasota Memorial’s cardiac surgeons

For more information about TAVR and Sarasota Memorial’s Valve Clinic, visit smh.com/heart or call 941-917-6968. Click here for a downloadable information sheet on TAVR, or watch our recent HealthConnection talk on TAVR by SMH Valve Clinic Coordinator Patricia Conant.

{article updated Jan. 10, 2019 with latest TAVR count}