Heart Hospital of Austin First in Central Texas To Perform New Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Procedure Since FDA Approval
AUSTIN, Texas—On Feb. 15, 2012, physicians at Heart Hospital of Austin became the first in Central Texas to perform a new, catheter-based valve replacement procedure, known as a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), since the technology was approved by the FDA in November 2011. The procedure offers an alternative to traditional, open-chest surgery in some patients.
The procedure was performed on 87-year-old Donald Anderson, who suffered from severe aortic stenosis and who was not a candidate for traditional open-chest surgery. Anderson showed symptoms of exhaustion and shortness of breath when he was evaluated at the Heart Valve Clinic at Heart Hospital of Austin. Immediately following his procedure, his presenting symptoms were eliminated. Anderson was up and walking in less than 24 hours after his heart valve replacement and was discharged from the hospital only three days after his procedure.
“The procedure was a complete success,” Faraz Kerendi, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons who practices at Heart Hospital of Austin, said. “The patient’s recovery time was shortened as a result of the approach, which has enabled him to quickly return to physical activity.”
Severe aortic stenosis is a condition in which the opening of the aortic valve—which is located between the main pumping chamber of the heart, or left ventricle, and the aorta—becomes narrow, restricting blood flow from the heart. Over time, the valve can become calcified, preventing it from opening and releasing blood properly.
Symptoms of severe aortic stenosis may include fatigue, dizziness or fainting, chest pain or discomfort. It can also cause pressure to “back up” into the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath commonly called congestive heart failure. Left untreated, this condition is often fatal.
TAVR consists of inserting a valve—which is compressed down to the size of a pencil—through the groin via a catheter (a flexible tube), up to the aorta. After the catheter is advanced through the aorta and aortic valve, the valve is positioned and then opened with a balloon.
“This technology will revolutionize cardiac surgery,” Frank Zidar, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin and with Austin Heart, said. “By avoiding an open-chest surgery and the heart bypass machine, this approach can decrease complications and markedly shorten the recovery time. Recent studies have shown the TAVR procedure is as effective as open-heart surgery in terms of long-term survival. It offers tremendous potential for patients with valvular heart disease.”
TAVR results in a shorter recovery time—one to two weeks, versus six to eight weeks for traditional surgery. This technology prevents the need for physicians to utilize a heart bypass machine, allowing the patient’s heart to beat on its own throughout the entire procedure.
The new TAVR procedure is ideal for patients who are not candidates for open-chest surgery due to advanced age, or because they are too ill or suffering from additional medical conditions. Prior to this procedure, such patients were classified as inoperable and had no treatment options. They were often given only months to live.
The patient was identified as a candidate for the new procedure by the physicians of the Heart Valve Clinic at Heart Hospital of Austin. The clinic is specifically designed to evaluate and treat patients with valvular disease and disorders, delivering a multidisciplinary approach to evaluating such patients.
Heart Hospital of Austin
Heart Hospital of Austin, located at 3801 North Lamar Boulevard, is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in January 2012. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, Heart Hospital of Austin is a shared vision of local cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons. Working with hospital leadership, the physicians created an atmosphere of quality, resulting in the leading cardiac program in Texas for six consecutive years as ranked by HealthGrades®—a leading independent health ratings organization. In July 2009, a study funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed that Heart Hospital of Austin was the leading hospital in the United States for treatment of a heart attack. Heart Hospital of Austin has also been named a top cardiovascular hospital in the nation by Thomson Reuters for six years, most recently being named to the list of 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in 2011. In addition to providing a full range of cardiovascular services and an advanced Executive Wellness Program, Heart Hospital of Austin has a comprehensive 24-hour emergency department. For more information, please visit HeartHospitalofAustin.com.
Austin Heart is the largest provider of cardiac and vascular services in Central Texas, with 12 full-time office locations, 17 outreach clinics and 45 cardiologists. Austin Heart has been serving the Central Texas area since 1973. Austin Heart’s cardiologists sub-specialize in every diagnostic and treatment area of cardiovascular disease, America’s No. 1 killer—interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vein disease, sleep disorders, erectile dysfunction, imaging, women’s cardiovascular health and a nationally recognized research department. To learn more about Austin Heart physicians, or to schedule an appointment, visit AustinHeart.com.
Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, PA
For over five decades, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) has been proud to offer Central Texas the most specialized and innovative cardiothoracic, vascular and pediatric surgical care available. The most sophisticated diagnostic and surgical techniques are provided by 20 CTVS surgeons from four offices in Central Austin, Williamson County, Hays County, San Angelo and all area hospitals. Individually and collectively, CTVS surgeons have amassed a record of medical “firsts” in Central Texas, including performing the first heart and kidney transplants in the area. Since 1958, the surgeons, along with the clinical team of physician assistants, nurses and technicians, have shared a commitment to patients, their health and the community. To learn more about Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, please call 512.459.8753 or visit CTVSTexas.com.