Jacob DeLaRosa, MD

September 29th, 2015

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is the latest minimally invasive procedure being offered by the Portneuf Cardiovascular team. This revolutionary surgical procedure allows physicians to fix a severely narrowed aortic valve (aortic stenosis) without opening up the patient’s chest. It offers new hope for patients who have been previously determined to be inoperable or not amenable to surgical treatment.

In early July, the historic valve replacement surgery was performed at Portneuf Medical Center on a 76-year old man. The TAVR surgery involved a 25 member surgical team and took 2-hours to complete. The patient was awake 5- minutes after the operation ended and telling jokes 1 hour later. While there is a handful of major medical centers equipped to perform this technique, Portneuf Medical Center is the only rural hospital in the country and the only hospital in Eastern Idaho to offer this life-saving operation.

Recently the FDA approved the Edwards SAPIEN Transcatether Heart Valve to be performed in facilities with a high level of cardiac and heart surgery experience. TAVR enables the placement of a stent based tissue aortic heart valve into the body via a catheter that is inserted through an incision in the groin/leg. It is then threaded up to the heart through the arteries.

Several new technologies, including TAVR, have evolved that address conditions that were previously considered inoperable or not amenable to surgical treatment. TAVR reduces the patient’s risk for infection, cuts the recovery time and can be done without opening the chest cavity.

The most common cause of aortic stenosis is degenerative (age-related calcium deposits). Other causes include congenital disorders (bicuspid aortic valve), infection on the heart valve, or rheumatic fever. If you feel that you or a loved one may have aortic stenosis and may benefit from our high level of cardiac and heart surgery experience, please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment .We will be happy to answer any questions you may have at that time.

Our amazing multidisciplinary heart team along with a highly advanced cardiac hybrid operating room can provided the most complete, most coordinated care to ensure the best possible outcome for our patients. The partnership between cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists of Pocatello Cardiology make up the core of the TAVR heart team. Presently there are 35 patients in our area awaiting TAVR surgery.

As your regional leader in cardiovascular care, we don’t just want to be among the best in the region; we want to be among the best in the nation.