The Catalyst Issue 21 | May 2015 - Page 19

100 TAVR TH PATH to SUCCESS PATIENT! Last October, Mr. Sharp, who lives outside Temple, Texas, was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. This condition, which he shares with approximately 250,000 other Americans, means that the heart’s aortic valve either cannot open fully or has narrowed, impeding blood flow from the heart. This was a life-threatening situation, and was a significant cause of concern for his family. Mr. Sharp was short of breath, and his lung capacity was less than half of what it should be. he traditional therapy for severe aortic stenosis is open heart surgery. But like many patients of an advanced age, Mr. Sharp was considered a poor candidate for that surgery. So Baylor Scott & White specialists recommended the less-invasive TAVR technique, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 and adopted by specialists at Scott & White soon after, with great success in helping many patients like Mr. Sharp. In November 2014, he became the 100th patient at Scott & White Memorial Hospital - Temple to undergo the procedure. Scott & White in Temple is the only hospital between Dallas and Austin that offers this solution. T Before the TAVR procedure became available, patients who were not surgical candidates went without therapy and faced reduced quality of life and a shorter life span. While many patients with severe aortic stenosis are older than age 80, some are too sick or too frail to undergo traditional open heart surgery. “They may have had prior heart surgery, have weak heart function or lung disease,” says Timothy A. Mixon, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Scott & White in Temple. The TAVR technique has given this patient population an option. “Patients benefit significantly from the TAVR procedure, by relieving shortness of breath and other symptoms,” says Chittoor Bhaskar Sai-Sudhakar