A Milestone for Healthy Hearts

EIRMC Performs 100th TAVR Procedure: Complex heart surgery performed at only four Idaho hospitals

Published online: Jul 15, 2019 Articles, East Idaho Health
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Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has recently finished its 100th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). This innovative procedure is only performed at four hospitals in Idaho.  Its medical name is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement and the cardiology department at EIRMC is now very experienced at performing it.

The patient, Michael Mooney, had severe limitation in the function of his heart. His energy was near zero, which led to his retirement and an end to playing “his beloved clarinet and saxophone,” according to a recent publicity statement from EIRMC.

Three years ago, Mooney had been referred to a cardiologist who diagnosed him with congestive heart failure and severe aortic stenosis, as well as hypertension and a mitral valve leak.

Mooney's treatment team of cardiac specialists at EIRMC knew they could replace his aortic valve to resolve the aortic stenosis, but due to certain risk factors (specifically hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes and heart failure), traditional open heart surgery was off the table.

TAVR, however, is a minimally invasive procedure tailored to fragile patients who may not be well suited for major heart surgery. It is employed at EIRMC by a crack team of cardiac specialists, including cardiologist Dr. Douglas Blank; interventional cardiologist, Dr. John Chambers; and cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, Dr. Edward Setser.

TAVR involves placing a new valve inside the diseased aortic valve via a catheter. Once opened, blood flows unobstructed to the aorta.

As the primary implanter for Mooney's procedure, Dr. Chambers inserted the catheter into the artery and delivered the new, artificial valve to the correct location. Dr. Setser assisted with placing the device, opening the valve once correct positioning was confirmed, and closing the insertion site in Mooney’s groin.

As a result of the procedure, Mooney’s heart is now functioning normally. He takes just one baby aspirin daily. He has even returned to performing with the Idaho Falls Community Concert Band, the Firth Community Orchestra, and with a local group known as Jazz House Big Band.

For more information about TAVR and other heart-health procedures, visit www.eirmc.com.

Source: Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center; Illustration: www.dicardiology.com


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