In February, University Hospital became the first in the region to offer the state-of-the-art transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery. The surgery is designed to treat aortic stenosis, a progressive disease that affects the aortic valve in the heart. Around 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from the condition, which can severely restrict day-to-day activities for many people, including walking short distances or climbing stairs.
TAVR therapy is a treatment option specifically for those unable to have traditional open-chest surgery to replace the aortic valve. In the TAVR procedure, the University Heart Team uses a balloon-expandable heart valve that can be inserted through an incision in the leg or through an incision between the ribs. University’s Heart Team is composed of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, anesthesiologists and radiologists.
The team, which includes Timothy Hunter, M.D.; William C. Kitchens, M.D.; William R. Kitchens, M.D.; Mark Knight, M.D.; Alexander MacDonell, M.D.; Houman Tamaddon, M.D.; Leslie Walters, M.D.; Kraig Wangsnes, M.D.; and Blake Walker, M.D, work through University Hospital’s new Structural Heart Clinic, where a comprehensive evaluation will made through thorough testing which includes an echocardiogram, transesophageal echo(TEE), CT of chest/abdomen/pelvis, pulmonary function testing, carotid ultrasound and cardiac catheterization if not done within the past six months. A treatment recommendation of the Heart Team in collaboration with referring MD will be communicated to the patient.
To reach University's Structural Heart Clinic, contact the Valve Clinic Coordinator, Susan Wodarz RN at: 706-288-3100, toll free: 1-855-77VALVE or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.