Wheeling Hospital announced the introduction of a new procedure that replaces aortic valves without open-heart surgery.
It is called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, and this is the first time the procedure has been available in the Upper Ohio Valley.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is cutting edge medical technology used to treat aortic stenosis which causes the aortic valve in the heart to narrow.
In the past, replacing the aortic valve required open-heart surgery, but this noninvasive procedure achieves the same results without opening the chest.
“We’ve found that over the past five years, using this transcatheter technique is equal and sometimes superior to opening up the chest, so it’s a big deal. Less pain, less time in bed, early ambulation, patients are able to go home faster, and it’s a very safe procedure,” said Dr. Triston Smith.
A new valve is compressed and placed on the end of tube-like device called a balloon catheter. It is inserted through the femoral artery in the leg and pushed through blood vessels to the aortic valve. The valve expands, and the balloon is deflated and removed.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Angelo Georges says this is exciting news, especially to our elderly population, because patients do not have to travel hours out of the Ohio Valley to have this procedure done any longer.
“It is really an innovative, time saving, convenient, and most importantly life saving procedure that we brought to Wheeling Hospital,” said Dr. Georges.
So far, doctors at Wheeling Hospital have performed this procedure twice. The patients had the valve inserted on Thursday, were up and walking the next day, and were able to return home by Sunday.
Wheeling Hospital is taking referrals for the procedure. If you would like more information, you can call 1-833-WH-HEART.