A life touched by TAVR - Joan Clausen
Physicians: Thomas Pow, MD; Kourosh Baghelai, MD; John Froggatt, MD; Daniel Bosis, MD; Dave Boparai, MD
Blood pressure issues. Lightheadedness. Fainting.
For 86-year-old Joan Clausen, these symptoms started small but became a larger problem over time. While visiting a neighbor, Joan had a serious fainting episode and was taken by ambulance to Spectrum Health Lakeland Niles Hospital.
“I didn’t feel good for a while,” Said Joan. “I especially noticed it when I stood for long periods of time.”
Tests showed that her aortic valve, the main valve of the heart that helps the blood flow correctly, had deteriorated and needed to be fixed.
Normally, the valve would be replaced with open heart surgery, but that wasn’t an option for Joan due to her specific condition. Fortunately, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was. This procedure, new to Lakeland, offered a solution, and more importantly, hope.
“I needed open heart surgery, but I wasn’t a candidate,” said Joan. “Thankfully, TAVR was available locally and so much easier.”
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure which replaces a diseased aortic valve with a new tissue or biologic valve. For most patients it offers a shorter recovery time. While open heart surgery can mean five to six days in the hospital, TAVR often requires just one.
After a successful procedure, Joan went home the following day. Within two weeks, she went from not being able to stand for any length of time, to getting back to daily activities like driving.
“My goal was to keep living on my own and taking care of myself, and things are going really well,” said Joan.
Joan stated she was thankful for the care team who helped make that happen: Cardiologist Thomas Pow, MD; cardiothoracic surgeon Kourosh Baghelai, MD; and hospitalists John Froggatt, MD, Daniel Bosis, MD, and Dave Boparai, MD.
“My care team was wonderful,” said Joan. “Whatever I needed I got—from physical care to mental care. Everybody was so good. I couldn’t ask for any better.”
Since the procedure, Joan continues to build up her physical strength through the cardiac rehabilitation program at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center three times a week.
“Of course, each and every person’s situation is different, but I would recommend TAVR,” said Joan. “At my age, I feel like I’ve got a second chance. It’s a miracle as far as I’m concerned.”