Hospital offers minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedure

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 21:15:11-05

A Waco hospital is now offering a minimally invasive procedure for patients needing an aortic valve replacement.

Providence Healthcare Center doctors are doing a transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

With the treatment, doctors replace the valve by going through the groin, which lasts 28 minutes. 

According to Structural Heart Program Medical Director Dr. Brian Barnett, patients only stay at the hospital for 24 hours, which is a shorter amount of time than patients undergoing open heart surgery.

"People live longer and the quality of life is better. If you compare it to surgery in certain patient subgroups they do better than surgery," Barnett said.

He added that TAVR is preferred for older patients with severe aortic stenosis and certain risk factors. Aortic stenosis blocks or reduces blood flow from the heart to the body's main artery and to the rest of your body.

Thomas Davis of Goldthwaite was the second patient to have a TAVR at Providence in Waco in October.

The 73-year-old said 11 years ago he had a quadruple bypass that required open heart surgery. Back then, doctors detected an issue with a heart valve.

After close monitoring every year, his doctors recommended a valve replacement.

He describes having shortness of breath, fatigue and tiredness before the procedure.

He chose to do a TAVR instead this time because of a shorter recovery, which in his case lasted two weeks.

"I don't have shortness of breath and I can do anything that my bad legs let me do," Davis said.

According to Barnett, the TAVR program at Providence is the first one in Waco. He said this would save patients a trip to Dallas or Houston to undergo the procedure.

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