The TAVR (transcatheter aortic-valve replacement) procedure, which repairs the heart valve in those not well enough to undergo open heart surgery, can now be done without general anesthesia, thanks to new advances available at Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health.
The first TAVR in Kentucky using conscious sedation was performed at Jewish Hospital on December 11, 2014. The Heart Valve Team at Jewish Hospital performed the procedure on a 76-year old, female patient. The patient is recovery well.
Conscious sedation, in lieu of general anesthesia, makes for quicker recovery times, shortened hospital stays and cost savings.
During the TAVR procedure, a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon work together to implant the new heart valve, called the Edwards SAPIEN valve, which is made from cow tissue and developed by Edwards Lifesciences.
The valve is inserted into the body through a small cut in the leg. Once delivered to the site of the patient’s diseased valve, the Edwards SAPIEN valve is expanded with a balloon and immediately functions in place of the patient’s valve.
The procedure allows for valve replacement without traditional open heart surgery and while the heart is beating, therefore avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass. It is the only valve replacement option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not well enough to undergo traditional open heart surgery. Most patients will avoid any surgery in their chest.