LIMA — A cardiologist famous for his role in developing the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure visited Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center on Tuesday while touring several Ohio hospitals.
Dr. Jean-Claude Laborde talked with physicians and staff Tuesday about the procedure’s origins and future use.
The TAVR procedure, also known as a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is used to treat aortic stenosis and has been available at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s since September 2018. The procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery, allowing a patient to treat aortic stenosis without removing the damaged valve.
Dr. Sandeep Patel, an interventional cardiologist with Mercy Health in Lima, said he’s seen 26 TAVR cases since he started performing the procedure in Lima last fall. Before the procedure was offered in Lima, patients were transported to a sister Mercy Health site in Toledo.
“Patients can stay in Lima, get their valves fixed and then be home within 48 hours,” Patel said.
Patel estimated that around 1,200 people in Lima suffer from aortic stenosis, which prevents the heart valve from opening fully. Only about 800 of those people would be eligible for the TAVR procedure currently, Patel said. But he noted that low-risk aortic stenosis patients may be eligible within the next few years.
“(Aortic stenosis) can become more and more severe over time,” Patel explained. If the procedure is eventually approved for low-risk aortic stenosis patients, Patel said those patients would then have an alternative to open heart surgery available to them.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.