A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

New technology reduces stroke risk from TAVR procedure

For patients planning a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), there is a new piece of technology that can make your procedure safer.

For some patients who need a heart valve replacement, traditional open heart surgery poses too much of a risk. In those cases, an alternative procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be an option. TAVR does not require open-heart surgery, but still allows a new heart valve to take the place of an existing valve that has become too narrow to properly function.

TAVR is performed under conscious sedation, without any breathing tube or general anesthesia. As a result, the recovery time is short, and most patients are discharged the next day.

Reducing risk of stroke

Although TAVR is less invasive than open heart surgery, it is not without risk. Recent studies estimate approximately 4% of patients experience a clinically-apparent stroke within 30 days of a TAVR procedure. This happens because pieces of debris from the valve can break loose and travel to the brain during the TAVR procedure.

New technology is available that can help reduce the risk of stroke during TAVR. This technology is called the SENTINEL Cerebral Protection System. SENTINEL captures calcium or tissue that break loose during a TAVR procedure, stopping those particles from traveling to your brain, which can cause stroke.

According to Boston Scientific, SENTINEL has been shown to:

  • Capture debris flowing toward the brain in 99 percent of TAVR cases
  • Reduce the incidence of stroke by 60-70 percent

Marshfield Clinic Health System has become one of the first care providers in Wisconsin to use the SENTINEL system during a TAVR procedure.

“We are committed to providing the highest level of care, with the latest tools and in the safest possible manner,” said Dr. Juan Mesa, a Marshfield Clinic Health System cardiologist. “SENTINEL technology represents a major step forward in making TAVR procedures substantially safer.”

If you are considering a TAVR procedure, make sure to talk with your provider about the SENTINEL Cerebral Protection System.

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