LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR, is a procedure to fix aortic stenosis — and the American College of Cardiology recently created a Transcatheter Valve certification standardizing the procedure.
With the certification, hospitals must follow certain standards when performing the heart procedure — TAVR.
“That verifies we are in fact practicing evidence-based, patient-centered, care. We have a team here and its a team and it’s a whole shared decision making process from the patient, primary care, the referring cardiologist and our TAVR team. Essentially it’s a stamp of commitment to our community we’re providing the best possible care," Dr. Edward Bergen, an interventional cardiologist with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, said.
Lake Charles Memorial Hospital’s Heart and Vascular team are the first in the country to receive the certification, which, ultimately — helps patients like Joseph Pappillion.
“I have never felt that bad until I got the procedure, then I got the procedure and now I feel like a new man. Light, walking around, doing anything I want. I haven’t felt any pain," Pappillion said.
“The TAVR procedure is a minimally invasive way we now replace the aortic valve through the groin that requires a tiny incision," Bergen said.
A catheter is then threaded up to the damaged aortic valve and fixed with a transcatheter heart valve.
“If untreated, it’s a fatal condition. People don’t realize. They focus on cancers, but cardiovascular disease, and aortic stenosis specifically, once you develop symptoms, the clock is ticking," Bergen said.
In August, the FDA approved an expansion of TAVR to patients considered low-risk — before, this procedure was only done on those patients too vulnerable to have open-heart surgery.
Thanks to that expansion, Pappillion was able to undergo the procedure just over a week ago. He said he needed to take care of himself so he can take care of his wife.
“My wife is dependent on me. She’s had three strokes and she’s paralyzed and nobody’s there to watch her.I’m the one who’s mainly done everything for her. So I had to get back on my feet as quickly as possible," Pappillion said. “But now I don’t have no stress at all. I wake up happy. Every morning.”