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Adventist Heart Institute Performs First Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve Replacement (TAVR) in the North Bay

Heart Health

St. Helena, California, March 3, 2016 – The heart valve team at the Adventist Heart Institute at St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley successfully completed the North Bay’s first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, a less invasive alternative that offers hope for patients with severe aortic stenosis who were previously accustomed to only one treatment option – open heart surgery.

The TAVR procedure is performed by advancing a fully collapsible replacement valve by catheter through the groin or through a small incision in the chest to the heart. Once placed in the correct position, the replacement valve is opened and it begins to regulate proper blood flow. The procedure takes 1 – 2 hours and because it is less invasive by nature, patients can expect a faster recovery, shorter hospital stay and very minimal pain.

Caused by a buildup of calcium deposits that cause the valve to narrow and stiffen, aortic stenosis is the most prevalent heart valve disease and the third most common cardiovascular condition after coronary artery disease and hypertension. It affects up to 1.5 million people in the United States and approximately 250,000 of these patients suffer from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, often developing debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal day-to-day activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs.

Until now, patients who were not eligible for a traditional open heart aortic valve replacement surgery had no effective, long-term treatment option to prevent or delay their disease progression. Without aortic valve replacement, studies show patients have about a 50% chance of living two years and a 20% chance of living five years.

TAVR is proven to have success rates as high as 95%. “This is a game-changing breakthrough for patients with severe aortic stenosis. Patients who previously had an open heart procedure, or have additional health issues complicating their condition were often not eligible for an open chest surgery," explained Dr. Steven Herber, President & CEO at St. Helena Hospital. “Now they have a treatment option that extends and improves their quality of life.”

The multidisciplinary heart valve team at the Adventist Heart Institute is made up of cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists, a dedicated nurse coordinator, highly skilled cardiac nurses, anesthesiologists and imaging professionals that collaborate to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with valvular heart disease. Together, they are unified by a vision to help patients access new advances in treating aortic stenosis and improve their quality of life.

Patients or physicians interested in learning more about the TAVR procedure can call the Adventist Heart Institute at (707) 963-7200.

About St. Helena Hospital

St. Helena Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving more than 75 communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 31,000 includes more than 22,350 employees; 4,800 medical staff physicians; and 3,850 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health heritage and values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 20 hospitals, more than 275 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 15 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. Adventist Health ranked #10 in Becker’s list of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the U.S. for 2015. We invite you to visit for more information.