For Those With Severe Aortic Stenosis, The TAVR Procedure Is a Game Changer

Author: Lindsey Ulrich

"Studies have suggested similar and excellent survival rates with TAVR when compared to a surgically implanted valve."

Lansing resident Sandra Mosier, 75, has lived with a heart murmur her entire life. When she heard the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure was now available at McLaren Greater Lansing, she was first in line to schedule her surgery.

“I feel great,” said Mosier, who had the procedure done in July. “I was born with a heart murmur and always knew I would need surgery eventually, and I was so glad to be able to go this route.”

TAVR is a less invasive procedure than open heart surgery and is currently offered to patients who suffer from severe aortic valve stenosis. The procedure is done through an incision commonly made near the groin area and uses a catheter to replace the heart valve instead of opening the chest, as conventional surgery would.

Majid Mughal, MD, cardiologist at McLaren Cardiovascular Group – Okemos, who performed the procedure on Mosier, is very happy with her results and is excited be able to offer TAVR now to more of his patients locally.

“I have been monitoring Sandra for a while for moderate aortic stenosis and her heart murmur, but more recently, she started to develop more symptoms, such as increased shortness of breath,” said Dr Mughal. “As her stenosis became more severe, the TAVR procedure was the best option for her.”

TAVR has many advantages over conventional surgical valve replacement options in that the procedure time is shorter, ranging one to two hours (versus four to five hours), and hospital stay is significantly reduced.

“I was told for a standard procedure, I might have to stay in the hospital for five to seven days, but with this procedure, I was discharged the very next day,” said Mosier.

Patients with severe aortic stenosis develop symptoms and can worsen over time, including chest pain, tightness, shortness of breath, and fainting. If the stenosis is left untreated, survival rate can be as low as 50% at two years and 20% at five years.

“Studies have suggested similar and excellent survival rates with TAVR when compared to a surgically implanted valve,” said Dr. Mughal.

The procedure is done in the hospital, and patients can typically move around a few hours after the procedure and go home with only a dressing on the incision.

Dr. Mughal stated this procedure is a real game changer for the community. “It is important that we continue to provide the latest and best surgical and least invasive options available for our patients,” said Dr. Mughal.

And as for Mosier, it has been a great experience. “It was music to my ears when Dr. Mughal came in after the surgery and told me I no longer have a heart murmur. I was just thrilled,” said Mosier.

If you have been diagnosed with aortic stenosis and are experiencing an increase in symptoms, TAVR might be an option for you. Click here to learn more about the TAVR procedure and Structural Heart Disease and Valve Clinic at McLaren Greater Lansing.