Minimally invasive heart procedure gets patients back to their lives quickly
The moment had finally come for Jim Gardiner. After waiting for sixteen years for a noninvasive procedure to address his aortic stenosis, Jim was able to have the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure he needed at Mission Hospital.
In October, Jim became the first patient to undergo TAVR at Mission Hospital under the expert care of Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Sanjay Bhojraj and Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Sevak Darbinian. The procedure corrected the narrowing in Jim’s main artery which was blocking blood flow and dramatically enhanced his quality of life.
Diagnosed with aortic stenosis in 2003, Jim managed his condition with medication and yearly visits to his cardiologist, but he was often exhausted. “I couldn’t handle long walks without having to stop and rest,” said Jim, “and I couldn’t do my favorite activity – playing golf any more. I just ran out of gas.”
With TAVR the aortic valve is repaired via a small incision in the chest or groin. “It is game-changing technology,” says Dr. Bhojraj. “Jim was walking within hours of the procedure and went home the next day.” “Though surgical results are typically excellent, many patients are not surgical candidates, so TAVR is an effective option that allows patients to get back to their lives quickly,” said Dr. Sevak Darbinian.
“l feel great and I’m ready to hit the golf course,” said Jim, who credits his care team with changing his life. Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner Chelsea Zimmerman was with Jim throughout the process, guiding him through preliminary testing and following up after his appointments. “I was so impressed with the doctors and nurses. They took superb care of me and encouraged me every step of the way.”
Dr. Bhojraj is excited for the future of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Mission Hospital. “This is the first of many innovations,” he said. “We have world-class heart care right in our backyard.”
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