Surgery-Free Heart Valve Procedure - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Surgery-Free Heart Valve Procedure

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A tiny valve, made up of cow tissue, saved the life of Beverly Warren. Beverly could barely walk across a room because of aortic stenosis.  

Three weeks after surgery, she's planning her 78th birthday. "Before I couldn't do any housework, now I can do housework. Now I can do my own housework, because I don't want anyone coming in and doing my housework."

Dr. Jake Ichino, interventional cardiologist at Renown Institute for Heart and Vascular Health, spent a year getting certified to perform the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. He and his team have performed five TAVR procedures at Renown, all of them successful. 

Dr. Ichino threads a catheter up through an artery in the leg to the heart. He then delivers the stent, containing the value into the exact location of the narrowed value. Once the stent is in place, he removes the catheter, leaving behind a fully functioning value.

Dr. Ichino believes this procedure is the wave of the future for all patients with aortic stenosis. "This is a new technology we are just starting to get five year data on this. Eventually in time I do believe that this technology will eliminate the need for open heart surgery in majority of these cases. Currently the FDA approval is only for high risk patients."

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