Mt. Clemens-based McLaren Macomb’s Mat Gaberty Heart Center is now offering the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, a minimally invasive heart procedure for patients who are at an increased risk for surgery.
The procedure is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab and is for aortic valve replacement due to aortic stenosis, which is when the main artery branching off the heart, or aorta, narrows. This can keep the aortic valve from functioning properly and opening fully, reducing the amount of blood flowing to the body and causing the heart to overwork and weaken.
The TAVT procedure is for patients who are at an intermediate or high risk for surgery and replaces the aortic valve with an artificial valve made of organic tissue supported by a metallic stent. This helps patients avoid the need for invasive open-heart surgery.
“While we can manage the symptoms of aortic stenosis with medication, we can truly treat the disease and improve the patient’s quality of life by replacing the flawed valve,” says Dr. Timothy Logan, an interventional cardiologist with the McLaren Cardiovascular Institute. “Due to many factors, open heart surgery may be too risky for some patients. TAVR, through its innovative means, allows us to offer a less-invasive option to those patients who need it most.”
The lab uses imaging to insert a catheter into the groin and tunnel it to the heart, guiding the artificial valve to the malfunctioning aortic valve. The artificial valve is then deployed within the diseased valve after an angioplasty balloon pushes the valve’s leaflets out of the way.
The McLaren Macomb TAVR team includes an interventional cardiologist, cardiothoracic surgeon, and specially trained support staff.
More than 200,000 cases of aortic stenosis are reported in the United States each year. The condition can cause chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath, leading to a decreased quality of life and eventual heart failure.
To learn more about cardiac care offered at McLaren Macomb, click here.