An OSF HealthCare-offered procedure will now bring new hope to more patients, after the FDA approved Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR, for intermediate risk patients. TAVR improves quality and quantity of life for patients with aortic stenosis and is offered in Peoria, Illinois at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, and in Rockford, Illinois at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.
Previously TAVR was only approved for heart valve patients deemed high-risk surgical candidates – those too sick to undergo open heart surgery. This new intermediate designation means more patients will get the new heart valve they need, without the need for open heart surgery.
TAVR is a procedure for patients with severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve opening). The procedure uses a balloon expandable aortic heart valve – placing it into the body via a catheter-based delivery system. The valve is designed to replace a patient’s diseased aortic valve while the heart continues to beat – avoiding the need to stop the patient’s heart.
The less invasive TAVR procedure also comes with a quick recovery time. Most patients will leave the hospital in an average of four days, and can resume all normal activities within 10 days of the procedure. In comparison, traditional open chest surgery patients need up to seven days of hospitalization and six weeks of rehabilitation.
In Peoria, the TAVR team at Saint Francis is one of the busiest in the state and has performed nearly 250 of these procedures successfully.
“At OSF we go a step beyond, using the Minimal Approach TAVR (MA-TAVR) method,” said Dr. Sudhir Mungee, one of the lead Physicians of the Peoria TAVR team. “This means a patient comes to a hybrid catheter lab with only a peripheral IV. The TAVR is performed with no general anesthesia or intubation and no surgical incision. A Minimal Approach TAVR patient is normally up eating dinner that same evening. Imagine a Heart valve replacement without open chest, no skin incision and only minimal anesthesia.”
In Rockford, the team at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center has successfully performed more than 110 TAVR procedures, which is also well above the national average.
“As there are only select hospitals in the country approved to provide TAVR, we have been so happy to be able to provide this life changing procedure here at OSF St Anthony Medical Center,” said Cardiac Surgeon Dr. David Cable. “Our patients comment they are amazed at how quickly their life is changed by this minimally invasive procedure.”
“We have patients who have been biking after TAVR. People are traveling. Their quality of life has improved,” said Dr. Mungee. “You don’t have to feel short of breath when you walk to the bathroom. They’ll tell you the next morning, ‘I can breathe.’ That’s how much of a difference TAVR makes, and how quickly that difference is felt.”
To learn more about TAVR, or to see if you are a TAVR candidate, call 800-352-4410 in Peoria or 815-847-5732 in Rockford or visit OSF HealthCare's Valve Services.