This week’s treatment spotlight belongs to the minimally invasive procedure Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Most commonly performed the 60-90 age group, the TAVR team at the Florida Heart and Lung Institute (FHLI) in Gainesville, Florida works in tandem with North Florida Regional Medical Center’s staff to minimize wait times and maximize survival rates.

Typical untreated cases of aortic stenosis have a survival rate lower than many late-stage cancers, making the TAVR procedure as revolutionary as the team believes that it is. These conditions are quite deadly, so whether or not you notice it early on, FHLI aims to provide a treatment that restores the functionality of all four of the heart’s valves. While millions of Americans may have heart valve conditions, these developing technologies serve to keep hearts beating, blood flowing, and oxygen delivered. The sobering statistics surrounding the inoperable patients that forego an aortic valve replacement involve a survival rate as low as 20% by year 5, driving the need for the 300,000 + TAVR implants globally since it all started 10 years ago. Dr. Charles Klodell, has personally performed over 1000 of these procedures throughout his career. Here’s what a local neurosurgeon had to say about her father’s procedure:

“My father recently had a TAVR done at North Florida Regional. He had been told previously that an open-heart surgery would be a very high-risk procedure secondary to his severe scoliosis and atypical cardiac anatomy. By postop day one he was walking in the hallways and had already improved his exercise tolerance. The support by the TAVR team and the staff at North Florida Regional hospital was superb. I would highly recommend them to anyone who is a candidate for an aortic valve replacement.”

- Dr. Ann Carr, Neurosurgeon. Daughter of patient.

Dr. Klodell maintains his goal of patients living longer, but also better, as seen with the shortened hospital stays and comfortable recoveries of TAVR patients. For more information on the specifics of the surgery read more about the TAVR procedure.