Heart Patient Is Excited for the Future after TAVR Procedure

“I thought I was having panic attacks,” Judy Evans said, thinking back to when she first noticed something was going on.

While dealing with a family emergency, Evans stated she was not feeling well, but since she had dealt with panic attacks before, she assumed that was what she was experiencing. Her husband, on the other hand, worried and felt they needed to go to the emergency department to get Evans checked out — just to be on the safe side. 

Evans was diagnosed with a heart murmur. She met with Dr. Mohan Madala, cardiologist at McLaren Greater Lansing, who closely monitored her symptoms, but over time said it was time for Evans to look into a procedure known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and referred her to Dr. Majid Mughal.

“I had never been told before that I had a heart murmur, so this was all new to me,” said Evans. “I had never heard about TAVR.” 

Dr. Mughal is an interventional cardiologist at McLaren Greater Lansing Cardiovascular Associates and performs TAVR procedures at the hospital. TAVR provides a less invasive option without a long recovery time and hospital stay compared to other surgical interventions such as open-heart surgery for those with heart valve diseases. Evans was Dr. Mughal’s 101st patient to receive the procedure at McLaren Greater Lansing.

"Patients used to stay in the hospital for five to seven days for a valve replacement procedure,” said Dr. Mughal. “Now with the introduction of TAVR, the procedure only takes about two hours, and a majority of the patients can go home the next day.”

Prior to the procedure, Evans, who works closely with children with disabilities, started to feel more fatigued and having a harder time getting up and going to work. After going through her options with Dr. Mughal, she felt that TAVR was the right option for her.

“I am feeling really good,” said Evans after the procedure. “I’m anxious to get back to work and excited to see the kids I work with again.”

The TAVR 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.

“We’re seeing the longevity of these valves lasting close to 10 to 12 years now before needing to be replaced, so it’s a very good option for our patients, including our older patients in their 90s,” said Dr. Mughal.

For those with heart valve diseases who are experiencing an increase in such symptoms as shortness of breath, chest pain, tightness, and fainting, TAVR may be an option. To learn more about the TAVR procedure and the Structural Heart Disease and Valve Clinic at McLaren Greater Lansing, click here.