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Spectrum Health Lakeland / Lakeland Heart and Vascular / TAVR: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

TAVR: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

There's more than one way to get to your heart.

Open-heart surgery has traditionally been the only treatment for replacing a damaged heart valve. Spectrum Health Lakeland has cutting-edge technology and minimally invasive procedure options to treat heart valve disease, including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

Lakeland interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons have been performing the TAVR procedure since 2012. Based on changes to Medicare guidelines and demand for the procedure, Spectrum Health Lakeland is now able to offer the minimally invasive option locally at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph.

“We are proud to bring this program home to Spectrum Health Lakeland, which provides patients access to one of the most advanced heart treatment techniques right here in Southwest Michigan,” said Dilip Arora, MD, interventional cardiologist and TAVR surgeon. “I would have no problem having my family member come here and have Lakeland take care of them.”

With a TAVR procedure, a team of heart specialists work together to replace the aortic valve with a prosthetic valve via a transcatheter approach (less invasive). This procedure utilizes a collapsible valve implanted percutaneously, and is indicated for patients at low, intermediate, high, or extreme risk for open-heart surgery.  Learn more.

A life touched by TAVR

For 86-year-old Joan Clausen, lightheadedness and blood pressure issues started small but became a larger problem over time. Tests showed the main valve of her heart deteriorated. 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. Read more of her story.

Life-saving procedure with many benefits 

Because TAVR procedures are less invasive than other surgical options, our patients experience:

  • Easier and more rapid recovery time
  • Shorter length of stay
  • Reduced surgical complications compared with traditional open-heart surgery
  • TAVR patients are eligible for the embolic protection device called Sentinel.  The Sentinel device reduces risk of stroke during a TAVR procedure.

Dilip S. Arora, MD, FACC, FASE is part of the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) team at Spectrum Health Lakeland and has been treating patients with this technique for the past decade. Below Dr. Arora and Lakeland cardiothoracic surgeon, Kourosh Baghelai, MD, FACS, describe this minimally invasive surgery in detail and the benefits for patients.

Below Emily Milliken, NP describes her role as the TAVR program coordinator for Spectrum Health Lakeland. Get to know her here:

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