Local hospital cutting down on open heart surgeries with new procedure

Under this new technique patients often leave the hospital the next day
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 9:30 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Going under the knife can be scary, especially when doctors are working on your heart. But there’s a new procedure that’s cutting down recovery time from weeks to days.

Baylor Scott & White is the only hospital in the area that does TAVR, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

“We enter through the artery in the leg and going up through the aorta and over the aortic arch we can enter the aortic valve and replace it, delivering it with just a catheter,” said Dr. William Todd Gray.

The whole thing takes about half an hour, instead of 3 to 4 hours for open-heart surgery. Baylor Scott & White performs about two or three of these a week and they are on pace to perform over 100 this year. A lot of times, patients walk out of the hospital the next day to begin their recovery.

Doctors are fixing something called aortic stenosis, usually in older patients. Your heart valve can get clogged up as you age which stops your heart from pumping as much blood as it should. You might not notice the signs at first.

“Shortness of breath when they do normal activities or higher-level activities. That worsens with symptoms in lower activities limiting their ability to activities like cooking, bathing, or just hanging around the house,” said Gray.

Doctors say if you’re concerned, it’s always a good time to schedule a checkup. Click here to see if you’re at risk for heart disease.

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