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First TAVR Procedures

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On February 25th, the first two TAVR (TranscatheterAortic Valve Replacement) procedures were performed at PeaceHealth SouthwestWashington Medical Center. This procedure allows physicians to replace a diseased aortic valve with an artificial tissue valve using a catheter from an artery in the leg. Traditionally, patients with severe aortic valve disease have been treated with open heart surgery and results have been excellent.However, many patients are too frail or have other medical issues which prevents them having surgery. Patients with severe aortic stenosis who do not undergosurgery have a poor long term prognosis. TAVR is an excellent option for these patients as the results are as good as surgery for this high risk population and the recovery is easier. TAVR has only been available in the U.S. since 2011.

TAVR is performed by a special team of interventionalcardiologists, heart surgeons, anesthesiologist, and imaging specialists. TVC’s Dr. Nathan Boyer was one of the primary operators for these cases along with heart surgeon Dr. Howard Song from OHSU. Both patients did exceptionally well and were discharged to home within 48 hours. These were the first TAVR cases ever performed in southern Washington.

Photo credit: Robert DuBose