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AnMed Now Offers Heart Valve Replacement Treatment

Anderson County and surrounding area heart patients no longer have to travel to another city or state to receive a life-saving heart valve replacement that can be performed without major open heart surgery. 

AnMed Health is now offering Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). This transformative new technology helps physicians implant a new tissue heart valve without open heart surgery. The new valve is directed by catheters to essentially replace the aortic valve, the main heart valve that regulates flow out of the heart. Physicians use minimally invasive techniques and advanced catheter technology to guide the valve, while the patient is under anesthesia.

“Most patients go home within 24-48 hours and are back to their usual activities in about a week,” said Dr. Satish Surabhi, AnMed Health’s medical director of cardiac cath labs and structural heart program. “It is a fantastic development that allows patients to avoid invasive and high risk surgery.” The outcomes with this technology are as good and sometimes better compared to traditional open heart surgical aortic valve replacement. 

The TAVR procedure is FDA-approved and is covered by insurance. Up to 1.5 million adults in the U.S. have aortic stenosis, with a third of these being severe aortic stenosis. As we get older, the aortic valve becomes thickened and develops calcium deposits, making it harder and stiffer, resulting in a reduction of valve area. This obstruction can cause symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, congestive heart failure with shortness of breath or fainting spells. Once symptoms develop, these patients have a poor prognosis, culminating in death. Aortic valve replacement is the only option to reduce morbidity and mortality, but is too risky for a lot of these patients. 

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