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COLORADO SPRINGS – With the news that Mick Jagger is having heart valve replacement this week we’re talking about one of the newer medical procedures that he possibly could have.
In general, heart valve surgery treats heart valve disease when at least one of the four valves in the heart stops working correctly.
Heart valve surgery is performed either through open-heart surgery or there is a newer minimally invasive procedure available called “transcatheter aortic valve replacement” or TAVR. TAVR is a procedure now regularly performed here in the springs by cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr. Peter Walinsky at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central.
Dr. Walinsky explains, “The other option besides open-heart surgery that we now have, is transcatheter aortic valve replacement. That’s replacing the aortic valve without opening the chest, and without going on the heart-lung bypass machine. The new valve is implanted inside a stent. The stent can go in through a small poke hole in the leg and it goes up through the aorta, across the native aortic valve, and then the stent is inflated on a balloon, which basically displaces the old valve. The stent holds the old valve open, the new valve is inside the stent, and as soon as the balloon is deflated the new valve starts working and the patient is better.”
To date, there have been over 100 TAVR procedures done at UCHealth Memorial. We’re currently working on a story for later this month about a 93-year-old Colorado Springs man who is still going strong after his TAVR procedure at Memorial, and what his recovery was like.
While it’s not publicly known what the particulars of Jagger’s heart condition are – or which procedure he will have – doctors tell me in general it depends on things like a person’s age, overall health, and the condition of the heart valve.
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