The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has significantly expanded
the number of patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis who will
be able to receive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a less
invasive approach to aortic valve replacement.
Open heart surgery and TAVR are the two standard treatments for patients
with severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aorta). TAVR, a relatively
recent innovation, is a minimally invasive, catheter-delivered procedure.
TAVR had become the primary option for patients whose age or physical
condition disqualified them from having open heart surgery.
The new FDA ruling means that younger and more active patients with severe
aortic stenosis will now have the option of TAVR as well as open heart surgery.
BCH's Boulder Heart is the only cardiology program in Boulder County
performing TAVR. Drs. Srinivas Iyengar and Daniel O’Hair have performed
more than 1,500 successful TAVR procedures, more than any other team in Colorado.
According to Dr. Iyengar, the benefits are clear: “With TAVR, a
patient’s diseased aortic valve is replaced with a new valve through
a minimally invasive procedure that usually takes less than an hour. Recovery
is quicker and there’s less chance of a disabling stroke. By comparison,
open heart surgery is a major procedure with a much longer recovery period.”
How Does TAVR Work?
TAVR is performed by an interventional cardiologist-led team in a specialized
operating room equipped with advanced imaging equipment at Foothills Hospital.
Similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR procedure uses a catheter,
inserted through a patient’s groin, to thread a sophisticated artificial
valve all the way to the heart, maneuvering it into the site of the old valve.
The replacement valve widens the valve opening and takes over the job
of regulating blood flow, allowing patients to enjoy longer lives and
return to their favorite activities. The TAVR procedure is usually completed
in less than an hour, with most patients able to return home after a day or two.
Full Service Cardiology at BCH
The BCH TAVR team is the most experienced in Colorado. Dr. Iyengar, a highly
experienced interventional cardiologist who has successfully performed
more than 400 TAVR procedures, trained at the institution where TAVR was
introduced to the United States, while Dr. O’Hair teaches other
cardiologists around the world how to perform TAVR. All patients are carefully
assessed by our expert team to determine which aortic procedure is best
for each individual patient.
"Boulder Community Health has established itself as a leader in the
community not only by investing in TAVR technology but also in the skill
and experience needed to deliver the leading-edge care that our community
deserves," said Jeff Reed, director of Cardiology at BCH. "Dr.
Iyengar has successfully completed hundreds of cases -- not just TAVR,
but also other complex minimally invasive procedures like Watchman, Mitraclip
and PFO closures. Combining that expertise with our exceptional cardiothoracic
surgery team headed by Dr. O'Hair and Dr. Bryan Mahan enables us to
provide our patients with cardiac care that’s second to none."
To make an appointment for a TAVR assessment, or if you have further questions
about heart valve disease, contact Boulder Heart’s Structural Heart
Team at 303-442-2395. BCH operates four Boulder Heart clinics conveniently
located across Boulder County.