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TAVR nonsurgical alternative to open-heart surgery is now available at LLUMC-Murrieta

 

Last updated 1/24/2019 at 10:54pm



MURRIETA – Surgeons at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta performed the hospital’s first transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure or TAVR, Jan. 14. Currently, it is the only hospital in the region to offer the non-invasive heart procedure to patients in the community.

To learn more about TAVR, the Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta invited the community to the third annual Heart Health Conference. The conference will highlight key information regarding TAVR and other heart health tips. The conference will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Temecula Conference Center at 41000 Main Street, in Temecula.

TAVR is a nonsurgical alternative procedure that treats aortic stenosis — a heart valve disease that causes reduced blood flow through the aortic valve. Patients with aortic valve stenosis often suffer from dizziness, shortness of breath and fatigue. Previously, the standard treatment was open-heart surgery that often has high risk complications with longer hospital stays. Since not all patients with this type of heart disease are well enough to undergo open-heart surgery, TAVR provides another option. TAVR is a non-invasive procedure done under conscious sedation rather than general anesthesia, takes less than an hour and allows patients to go home the next day. 

To perform the minimally invasive procedure, an interventional cardiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon puncture an artery in the leg. Through this small puncture, the team implants a new valve on a balloon slender enough to fit in the artery. The cardiologist then advances this valve through a sheath to replace the diseased valve. 

Interventional cardiologist Dr. Niraj Parekh said that offering the procedure in this area is long overdue. Parekh said having the less invasive option available closer to home will positively impact the patients and families in the community. Previously, eight to 10 patients a month would have to be transferred to distant hospitals, but now the hospital has a waiting list of 25 patients for TAVR.

“This area is underserved for cardiology and for structural heart disease,” Parekh said. “I am excited that we can now offer the community a variety of advanced care options locally.”

In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration approved the TAVR procedure for intermediate-risk patients as previously only high-risk patients were eligible. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Michael Koumjian said bringing this procedure to Murrieta with access to neighboring cities will serve an increasingly eligible population.

“The TAVR technology is growing and eligibility is expanding,” Koumjian said. “To accommodate that growth, we’re pleased to be offering this state-of-the-art technology for our community.”

To learn more about TAVR at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta visit their Heart Care website or call (951) 290-4000.

Loma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University’s eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Centers six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, Loma Linda University Health is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to over 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, Loma Linda University Health is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”

Submitted by Loma Linda University Health.

 

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