DANBURY, Connecticut – September 2, 2016 – Ninety-year-old Woodbury Resident Elisabeth Stritzel is looking forward to being able to tend to her vegetable garden and flower beds since having her failing aortic valve replaced at Danbury Hospital.
Mrs. Stritzel is the 100th patient to undergo the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure there. Cardiovascular physicians from the Danbury Hospital Heart Valve Center have been performing the minimally invasive procedure since October 2013.
Mrs. Stritzel’s aortic valve was successfully replaced by a team of interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons that include Mark Warshofsky, Hal Wasserman, Marc Krichavsky, Cary Passik, Eugene Fernandes and Robert Gallagher. She was released after three days in the hospital and soon returned to life as normal.
“I am glad I made the decision to have the procedure because I feel better and I can breathe much easier now,” Mrs. Stritzel said.
“TAVR is an option for patients at high risk for standard aortic valve replacement because of advanced age or other medical conditions. TAVR offers new hope for certain high-risk patients,” said interventional cardiologist Dr. Hal Wasserman, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Cary Passik explained that before TAVR, the only option for patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis was standard aortic valve replacement surgery, which involved surgically opening the chest.
“We’ve gone from a four-hour procedure and a four- or five-day hospitalization with standard open-heart surgery to a 90-minute TAVR procedure and a three-day hospital stay providing our patients less discomfort and a quicker recovery. We have an excellent team of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other professionals that work together to care for these patients,” added Dr. Wasserman.
Recently, The FDA approved the TAVR procedure for patients at intermediate risk for adverse events from traditional open heart surgery. “We are excited about what this expanded intermediate risk indication means to our patients,” said Eileen Hurley, APRN, Heart Valve Program Coordinator. “Now those patients who were not given the opportunity to have a TAVR procedure can benefit from this exciting technology. This groundbreaking technology is offered at Danbury Hospital for both intermediate and high risk or inoperable patients who have severe aortic stenosis.”
“Everyone involved in my care before, during and after my procedure reassured me and gave me confidence to get through it. I am very grateful for the excellent staff at Danbury Hospital,” said Mrs. Stritzel.
For more information regarding TAVR – the minimally invasive surgical procedure to replace the aortic valve – call the Danbury Hospital Heart Valve Center at (203) 739-6858.