Doctor to show how new technique may avoid the need for open-heart surgery

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A new procedure that may help heart patients avoid open-heart surgery along with tips to improve heart health are topics of a free seminar to be offered Thursday.

“Recent medical literature reports that one in 10 of us will develop aortic valve stenosis over the course of our life,” Dr. Blake Gardner said in a press release issued by Dixie Regional Medical Center.

“For many, this is a certain fatal condition whereby one of the heart valves becomes excessively restrictive to blood flow trying to leave the heart.”

Until recently, the only way to fix a heart valve was open-heart surgery, but Gardner will discuss a new procedure at the upcoming seminar.

“While open-heart surgery has been extremely successful, it has required a prolonged recovery period for the patient,” Gardner said. “Rapid advancements in technology are changing this. A new technique termed ‘transcatheter aortic valve replacement,’ or TAVR, allows us to place a new heart valve without open-heart surgery.”

The new procedure has been shown to extend life and speed recovery after valve replacement, Gardner said, if used in an appropriate patient.

“TAVR is generally a procedure that is performed at large medical centers,” he said. “Our heart team at Dixie Regional Medical Center will be able to provide this service to our community later this year.”

Gardner, neurologist Ray Grams and exercise physiologist TJ Peterson will be presenting at the seminar. Gardner encourages people to attend and promises an informative educational experience discussing exciting new treatment options and changes.

Heart care is too important to brush aside,” Gardner said. “The seminar will be an exciting opportunity for people to learn about the advancements and changes taking place. There are many options available and it is our goal to educate patients on what can be done for them.”

Event details

  • What: Heart health education seminar.
  • When: Thursday, March 2, 10 a.m.-noon.
  • Where: SelectHealth Auditorium, 1424 E. Foremaster Drive in St. George.
  • Cost: The seminar is free to the public.

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