Marshfield Medical Center-Weston recently treated its first patients using the next-generation, self-expanding Evolut™ FX Transcatheter Aortic Valve replacement (TAVR) System, a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgical aortic valve replacement.
TAVR was first introduced to northcentral Wisconsin at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield about a decade ago. It used to be the only option for hundreds of patients needing a heart valve replacement who could not have open-heart surgery, but has now become the preferred therapy for the majority of patients afflicted by aortic valve disease.
“Marshfield Clinic Health System has, for years, been at the forefront of structural heart disease care,” says Dr. Elvis Peter, Interventional Cardiologist. “Dr. Dan Gavrila and I have been fortunate to be a part of the TAVR team at Marshfield Medical Center-Marshfield for the last several years. Our patients have traveled with us. We, along with cardiac surgeon Dr. Hartmuth Bittner, are excited to now be able to offer this life-saving procedure closer to home.”
Traditionally, TAVR has been used in patients who have severe aortic stenosis (AS), or narrowing of the valve opening, caused by calcium build-up. AS occurs when the aortic valve leaflets become stiff and thickened and have difficulty opening and closing, making the heart work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. Severe AS often reduces a patient’s quality of life and limits their daily activities. If left untreated, patients with severe AS will develop end-stage heart failure or may even die suddenly.
Marshfield Medical Center-Weston is using a fourth-generation TAVR system, which further refines the procedure. It allows physicians to work with more precision and accuracy. The Evolut™ FX enables them to treat a broad range of patients with varying valve anatomies.
“This new service is the latest example of Marshfield Clinic Health System’s commitment to accessible, high-quality, comprehensive and locally-delivered health care,” says Dr. Dan Gavrila, Interventional Cardiologist. “Our cardiovascular team in Weston is grateful for the opportunity to provide the most advanced technologies to our patients right here in the communities where they live.”
Patients with severe AS should discuss TAVR with their Marshfield Clinic Health System doctor to evaluate if the procedure is right for them.