Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Physicians Replace Heart Valve with New Minimally-Invasive Procedure

Yesterday, physicians at Overlake Medical Center replaced a valve in the heart of an 87-year-old man using a game-changing, minimally invasive procedure. 

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a procedure that uses a catheter to replace a patient’s aortic valve with an artificial valve that greatly improves the ability of the patient’s heart to regulate the flow of blood.  The procedure is a less-invasive alternative for patients with severe stenosis of the aortic valve who, as such, are not suitable candidates for traditional surgery.   Aortic stenosis is the narrowing of the aortic valve – usually caused by calcium build up or scarring – that restricts blood flow through the heart, sometimes resulting in heart failure.

Doctors from Group Health and Overlake Medical Center’s Heart Team demonstrated the procedure for members of the media yesterday – check out the Bellevue Reporter's story and coverage on Q13  below!

video

Overlake is the only hospital on the Eastside, and one of only four hospitals in the state, to provide the TAVR procedure.  Because there aren't any other treatment options for patients with severe or critical aortic valve stenosis, this procedure offers new hope to patients and their family members.

“Before TAVR, patients diagnosed with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis who were not surgical candidates carried a mortality rate as high as 50 percent at two years,” said Scott J. Haugen, MD, Interventional Cardiologist at Group Health Bellevue Medical Center and co-medical director of the TAVR program at Overlake Medical Center.  “In a clinical trial, TAVR reduced mortality in the same patient population by greater than 20 percent.  For the first time, we have the opportunity for Overlake and Group Health to not only help improve those patients’ length of life, but also their quality of life.”

Patients interested in learning more about the TAVR procedure should contact the Overlake Valve Clinic at 1.855.895.VALV (8258) or visit www.overlakehospital.org/TAVR.  More information about Group Health cardiology is available at http://www.ghinnovates.org/?p=5242 and https://www1.ghc.org/html/public/specialties/cardiology/.