Getting the chance to say thanks to the caregivers in the Cardiovascular Unit at French Hospital, on Friday these patients reconnected with the doctors and nurses who helped them return to strength after getting a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement or TAVR.
This surgery fixes the part of the body that controls blood flow exiting the heart.
“It’s akin to putting a crimp in a garden hose, and then turn the pressure up on the spicket and hoping you get the water to come. Eventually, you can put such a kink in the hose that the water doesn’t exit no matter how high you turn up the pressure – aortic synosis acts in the same way except it’s blood trying to exit the heart to get to the rest of the body,” explains Dr. Robert Doria, Director of the TAVR program at French Hospital in San Luis Obsipo.
Patient Jack Landis was the first person to receive the TAVR surgery on the Central Coast. “I had shortness of breath and they detected a lot of calcium so they couldn’t do an open heart surgery,” Landis explains.
Many of the now 42 patients could not even go about their day to day lives before getting their aortic valve replaced. All of them also were at too high of a risk for open heart surgery, leading them to get the TAVR surgery – a new minimally invasive procedure.
Now thanks to this procedure at French hospital, all of the patients are back on their feet and are able to show some gratitude to those at the hospital who helped them along the way.
“They let me go the next day, the day after the procedure so what they’re doing here is incredible,” says Ingrid Minks, the youngest person to receive TAVR at French Hospital so far.
“Dr. Fletcher came in that night and said, “You’re a champion” and I don’t think so – Dr. Doria and all the doctors are,” Landis tells us.
“It’s very gratifying as a physician to see our patient group here today and looking so well,” says Dr. Doria.
The TAVR surgery at French Hospital is the only one of its kind between Santa Barbara and San Fransisco.