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New Approach to Valve Replacement Gives Patients a Second Chance


July 2, 2012 - ST. LOUIS, MO

A new heart valve procedure treating aortic stenosis is not only saving lives, but can make patients feel years younger. Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis was recently approved to be one of the few centers in the country to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

TAVR is a procedure that allows a team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery. The procedure places the new valve (Edwards SAPIEN) through a small incision in the groin. It is FDA approved for use in patients considered too weak or too sick to undergo traditional valve replacement surgery.

"In our first week, we performed four procedures using this new approach," said Michael Mauney, MD a cardiothoracic surgeon at Missouri Baptist. "Each patient went home within two to four days. This new treatment allows many of our sickest patients the opportunity to enjoy the same improvement in quality of life as those undergoing traditional open aortic valve replacement."

"It feels like nothing happened," said 78-year-old Anderson Daniels, who underwent TAVR in May. "I was up, moving the next day, and I was back to normal right away. It was one of the easiest things I had to go through. I'm so glad I was eligible."

Over 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from aortic stenosis, a progressive disease that affects the aortic valve of their hearts. While open-heart aortic valve replacement surgery is the gold standard for treatment, some patients are not candidates for surgery because of multiple high risk medical conditions. Daniels was one of those patients.

"I always had shortness of breath," said Daniels, "but I ignored it. I thought it was just part of getting older. So when I had my heart checked and was told I needed a valve replaced, you can imagine my surprise. It was scary."

Dr. Mauney told Daniels about the TAVR procedure, and they both agreed it was the best option. "I don't get short of breath anymore because my valve isn't blocked anymore," he said. "It really feels like nothing happened, I'm just back to normal."

For more info, call the Heart Valve Center at (314) 996-5287. Missouri Baptist is a member of BJC HealthCare.

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Beth Fagan
(314) 996-7571
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MarketWire

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