• Introducing TAVR: The Hope Procedure 

    Until now, patients whose age or health has prevented them from receiving life-saving, open-heart surgery to repair an aortic valve due to Severe Aortic Stenosis were in a hopeless situation.

    At St. John’s Hospital Prairie Heart Institute, we were inspired to find a way to give them hope – with a groundbreaking alternative to open-heart surgery that is estimated to add an average of 12 years to the life of a patient, when most eligible patients have less than two years to live without it.

    That visionary alternative is called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

    We’re proud to be the first hospital in downstate Illinois to share this life-saving treatment that’s giving hope to heart patients who need it most.

    It’s why we’re proud to call it The Hope Procedure.

    What makes TAVR visionary? 

    • Its innovative catheter system is minimally invasive – it doesn’t require a large incision or stopping the patient’s beating heart.
    • The average in-hospital recovery time is three days or less (versus two to three months or more with open-heart surgery).
    • Less pain and discomfort than open-heart surgery.
    • Significantly reduced healing time versus open-heart surgery.
    • No large, unsightly scars associated with open-heart surgery.
    • Lower opportunity for infection than open-heart surgery.

     How TAVR Works

    Guided by X-ray images, a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery in the upper thigh. With the heart still beating, a collapsible heart valve inside the catheter is guided into the chest. This valve, the SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve, is only about the diameter of a #2 pencil.

    Once inside, the replacement valve is expanded, pushing aside the damaged valves. The replacement valve is then secured into place, where it begins to function immediately.
    The catheter is then removed. Because the procedure is minimally invasive and requires virtually no cutting, most patients can expect an in-hospital recovery time of three days or less.

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