Getting to the Heart of the Problem Without Open-Heart Surgery

Traditionally, patients with a dangerously narrow aortic valve – a condition known as severe aortic stenosis – faced open-heart surgery and months of recovery to correct the problem. But a leading-edge, minimally invasive procedure available at UT Southwestern can have patients back on their feet in days.

Brian Bethea, M.D.
Brian Bethea, M.D.

Aortic stenosis restricts the flow of blood to the arteries, forcing the heart to work harder and eventually to fail if left untreated. Symptoms include heart murmur, fainting, chest pain, extreme fatigue, and shortness of breath.

The minimally invasive Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure offered at UTSW replaces the faulty aortic valve by means of a balloon catheter inserted through the groin. The heart is not stopped, as it is during open-heart surgery, and patients typically go home after two or three days.

TAVR has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in patients ineligible for traditional aortic valve surgery.

“The TAVR procedure is a significant advancement in treating aortic stenosis in patients who are too high-risk to undergo open-heart surgery,” says Brian Bethea, M.D., an Assistant Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery who’s trained in TAVR. “It’s lifesaving technology.”

Appointments

To schedule an assessment for the TAVR procedure, call 214-645-8300.