Stark County’s First for TAVR

When replacing heart valves, you can’t replace experience. Since 2015, Mercy Heart Center has been performing heart valve-saving surgery called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

Your aortic valve is a main heart valve located between the aorta, your body’s largest artery, and your heart’s left ventricle.

If the aortic valve becomes damaged, Mercy Heart Center surgeons may choose TAVR, a minimally invasive heart procedure that inserts a replacement aortic valve using a catheter (similar to placing a stent in an artery) without eliminating the original valve. The new valve forces the old valve out the way and begins controlling blood flow.

Traditional valve replacements necessitate open heart surgery with a sternotomy (dividing the sternum). Because TAVR is completed with a catheter, the procedure can be done through very small openings with no need for a sternotomy. You may qualify as a TAVR candidate if standard valve replacement surgery would be risky for you.

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Akron-Canton’s First TAVR Under Conscious Sedation

Mercy Medical Center Heart Center performed Akron-Canton’s first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) on a patient under conscious sedation. Lake Township resident Carolyn Thomas, age 78, remained awake throughout the entire minimally invasive procedure to replace her aortic valve. The non-surgical valve replacement was performed by Ahmed Sabe, MD, executive director, Mercy Heart Center.