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NCH expands cardiovascular services to treat complex cases of valvular and structural heart disease

May 14, 2019

Heart experts to perform minimally invasive procedures, including TAVR, in new hybrid cath lab

Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) opened its new Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Lab this spring, offering a state-of-the-art combination cardiac cath lab and operating suite for performing minimally invasive advanced cardiac procedures and endovascular interventions.

The TAVR procedure, also known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement, is performed for patients with aortic valve stenosis (or narrowing or stiffness of the leaflets of the aortic valve), caused by calcium build-up due to aging, birth defects, rheumatic fever or radiation therapy. TAVR was highlighted in the news recently after it was performed on Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger last month.

“Recovery from TAVR is much quicker than open heart surgery,” explains NCH Medical Group Interventional Cardiologist Maen Nusair, M.D., Medical Director of the NCH Structural Heart Program. “Most patients are up on their feet a few hours after surgery. They spend up to two days in the hospital instead of a week and are back to their normal routine in a week versus several weeks to months. This is a minimally invasive repair.”

The Hybrid Cardiac Cath Lab will allow for greater interventional or surgical precision, reduction of procedural risk due to improved image guidance and enhanced real-time visualization of patient anatomy, implants and catheters, according to Bonnie DeGrande, Executive Director of Cardiovascular Services at NCH. 

“NCH’s Structural Heart Program provides innovative, multispecialty care for patients with advanced and complex valvular and structural heart diseases, which are conditions caused by defects or abnormalities in the heart’s valves, walls and/or muscle,” DeGrande says.

Minimally invasive procedures are an alternative for patients who may be considered high risk for major heart surgeries. They offer less scarring, less blood loss and pain, and a quicker recovery.”

Besides TAVR, other procedures are Watchman/LAAO (left atrial appendage occlusion) for patients with atrial fibrillation (also known as AFib) who need alternatives to taking long term anticoagulation medication; Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closures for patients who have a hole in the heart that didn’t close the way it should after birth; and in the near future, Mitral Clips for stapling leaky valves without major surgery. Leaky mitral valves cause a leakage of blood to certain areas of the heart. The condition is present in about 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Institutes of Health. 

NCH is a U.S. News and World Report High Performing Hospital for Heart Failure (2018-2019) and earned the Healthgrades™ America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care™ Award for 2018-2019, among other cardiac distinctions. 

For more information on NCH’s Center for Heart Valve Disease, visit nch.org/valve.

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