Capital Health now offers minimally invasive aortic valve replacement

As part of the growing full-service cardiac program available at Capital Health‘s Heart and Vascular Institute, physicians and staff from the institute’s Structural Heart Program recently performed their first transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.

TAVR is a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve opening) or those with a failing surgical aortic valve who are at elevated risk for complications during open surgery.

Experts from Capital Health’s Structural Heart Program perform procedures like TAVR to manage and treat heart valve conditions and other structural issues of the heart.

“Patients who get transcatheter aortic valve replacement experience all the benefits of minimally invasive procedures, including less pain, shorter hospital stays and a lower risk for major bleeding,” Dr. David Drucker, medical director of the Structural Heart Program and board certified, fellowship trained interventional cardiologist at Capital Health Cardiology Specialists, said. “The biggest benefit for many TAVR patients is that they usually start feeling better right away. With a heart valve that is working properly, they breathe normally, have more energy, and can go back to everyday activities.”

During a TAVR procedure, calcified material from the aortic valve and tiny debris from the catheter may be released into the blood vessels and increase the risk for stroke. To reduce this risk, Capital Health’s Structural Heart team can deploy a filter device called Sentinel to catch debris and potentially minimize the risk of post-procedure disabling stroke.

Following the TAVR procedure, patients are monitored in the intensive care unit for a few hours before being moved to a standard patient room. Patients usually begin walking the same day as their TAVR procedure and are typically discharged within one or two days.