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Learn about Aortic Stenosis at Morgan Heart Hospital
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Demonstrating the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Procedure (Video)
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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Morton Plant Hospital Takes Next Step in Treatment of Severe Aortic Stenosis

CLEARWATER, Florida (February 22, 2014) - Morton Plant Hospital is expanding its Valve Clinic and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) programs by utilizing the self-expanding Medtronic CoreValve. Morton Plant is the nation's first hospital, not previously involved in the Medtronic research study, to implant this new valve. Morton Plant's Heart Team has successfully completed six CoreValve implants since the FDA's January approval of the valve for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis.

The CoreValve utilization is part of the legacy of firsts for the TAVR program since Morton Plant became the first hospital in Tampa Bay to offer the procedure two years ago. Learn more...

About Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) at Morton Plant Hospital

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure for people with severe aortic stenosis who may be unable to undergo traditional open-heart surgery.  An innovator in heart care, Morton Plant Hospital was the first hospital in Tampa Bay, Florida, approved to offer the TAVR procedure to patients with severe aortic stenosis. Morton Plant is one of the most experienced TAVR centers, performing more than 100 procedures annually, and is involved in a number of clinical trials giving more patients the opportunity to benefit from the minimally invasive procedure.

The TAVR team at Morton Plant Hospital is a multidisciplinary team of cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists and is one of the few in the state to offer alternative vascular access to patients with small vessels. This expertise in small vessel access may enable those patients who were previously told they were not candidates at other hospitals to proceed with TAVR therapy at Morton Plant Hospital. The TAVR procedure, also called TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implant), is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open-heart surgery. Learn more about the TAVR procedure from Dr. Joshua Rovin and Dr. Gregory Girgenti, members of the Morton Plant Hospital TAVR team.

The TAVR Procedure

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), also referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is an alternative to open heart surgery for those with severe aortic stenosis. Many people have been deemed unsuitable for traditional open-heart surgery due to their health, and TAVR gives many of them a treatment option they didn’t have before. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure in which a new balloon-expandable valve is inserted into the diseased aortic valve by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including a cardiovascular surgeon and an interventional cardiologist.

Rather than opening the chest of the patient, the TAVR procedure is done through small incisions. Unique to Morton Plant Hospital are the number of options for introducing the catheter, based on the patient’s body and health. This can be done transfemorally, transapically, or transaortically.

     
Transfemoral Approach  Transapical Approach Transaortic Approach

The catheter, which is as small as a pen and which holds the new valve, goes into an artery via one of the three entry points shown above. The catheter is carefully passed up to the heart and the new valve is implanted inside the diseased valve. Once the new valve is in place, normal heart function should resume.  Watch a demonstration of the TAVR procedure by Dr. Lang Lin, interventional cardiologist and member of the Morton Plant Hospital TAVR team.

 

Step 1           Step 2 Step 3

Step 1: Catheter is introduced into the diseased valve.
Step 2: Valve is put in place and expanded with a balloon.
Step 3: Balloon is deflated, catheter is removed and the new valve remains in place.

About Aortic Stenosis

Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis, which is a progressive disease characterized by abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart. This can obstruct blood flow to the body. Of those diagnosed with the condition, approximately 250,000 people suffer from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis and may experience debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs.

While many of these individuals can benefit from aortic valve surgery, only about two-thirds of them undergo the procedure each year. Many patients are not treated because they are deemed inoperable for surgery, have not received a definitive diagnosis, are concerned about the risks of surgery, or assume that the condition is simply a normal part of the aging process.

Patients who do not undergo an aortic valve replacement (AVR) do not have any other effective, long-term treatment option to prevent or delay the progression of their disease. Without the procedure, severe aortic stenosis is life-threatening. Research indicate that about half of all patients diagnosed with symptomatic aortic valve stenosis patients will not survive more than an average of two years after the onset of symptoms. Learn more about aortic stenosis from Morton Plant Hospital TAVR team member, Dr. Todd Kovach. 

Symptoms of severe aortic stenosis include:

  • Chest pain or tightness, also called angina
  • Severe shortness of breath, leading to gasping – even at rest
  • Extreme fatigue, especially during periods of activity
  • Lightheadedness and/or fainting
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Healthy Aortic Valve Diseased Aortic Valve

To find out if you are a candidate for TAVR or to request more information, call the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Center Coordinator at 855-44-VALVE (855-448-2583) or send an email.