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MoBap Celebrates 1,000 TAVR Case Milestone

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Celebrating this milestone are MoBap’s TAVR surgeons: Drs. Baker, Mauney and Scharff; cardiologists: Drs. Kopitsky, Shpigel, Timmer and Theodos; and a team of dedicated staff from the cath lab, cardiac surgical anesthesia and nursing, cardiac testing and heart center office and TAVR coordinator staff.

On December 6, 2022, Missouri Baptist Medical Center performed its 1,000th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). 

“We are proud to reach this milestone,” says Michael Mauney, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon on staff at Missouri Baptist. “MoBap was among the first medical centers in the nation to adopt this procedure following FDA approval in Fall 2011.” 

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure for replacing a stenotic (tight) aortic valve in which the aortic valve narrows, reducing blood flow from the heart to the aorta. This procedure can also replace failed artificial aortic and mitral valves. TAVR is a treatment option to be considered for those with severe aortic stenosis, including many with worn-out surgical valves.

Interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at MoBap are among the most experienced in the region at performing procedures to repair and replace heart valves. 

“The number of TAVR procedures we’ve performed each year has grown from 15 procedures during the first two years to 205 in 2022,” says Gus Theodos, MD, director of structural heart development at MoBap. “As people live longer, this minimally invasive procedure helps improve patients’ quality of life,” says Dr. Theodos.

How TAVR is Performed

During the TAVR procedure, the chest is not opened surgically. Instead, a team of interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons insert a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) through a tiny incision in an artery in the leg, shoulder or neck. The catheter contains the replacement aortic valve compressed within a stent. Once in position, the stent is expanded, pushing the old valve out of the way and leaving the new valve working within the stent.

A TAVR procedure is usually performed in less than one hour, with most using sedation similar to that used for a colonoscopy.

Because TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure, most patients go home a day or two after the procedure and resume normal activities in two weeks. Follow-up appointments check valve function and assess the degree of symptom relief.

For more information about TAVR, or to schedule an appointment, call 314-996-5287 or 314-996-7272.

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