A minimally invasive heart procedure, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), is offering new hope for patients with severe aortic stenosis, like Richard Mayo of Mineral Wells. Mayo had the distinction recently of becoming the 100th TAVR patient at Medical City Fort Worth.
An estimated 2.5 million people in the U.S. over the age of 75 suffer from aortic stenosis, or more than 12 percent of the population. Aortic stenosis occurs when the heart’s valve narrows, dangerously restricting blood flow to the rest of the body. After the onset of symptoms, patients with severe aortic stenosis have a survival rate as low as 50 percent at two years, without aortic valve replacement. The only effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis is to replace the diseased aortic valve, but at least 40 percent of patients do not get treatment. Many people – like Mayo – are not candidates for invasive open heart surgery, which was previously the only option for heart valve replacement. TAVR enables a new heart valve to be inserted into a patient’s aorta via catheter – without open heart surgery.
Before his TAVR procedure, Mayo’s aortic stenosis made it difficult for him to walk or sit up on his own. He was also so short of breath that he sometimes had trouble speaking. After TAVR and inpatient rehabilitation at Medical City Fort Worth, Mayo has a new lease on life – he is walking, talking and getting back to life.
The Medical City Fort Worth TAVR team of more than 20 medical professionals performed the first TAVR in Tarrant County in 2015. For more information about TAVR and other minimally invasive heart procedures at Medical City Fort Worth, contact the Structural Heart Clinic at 817-347-4935.