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COLORADO SPRINGS – In our last story, I introduced you to 93-year-old Harry Hatcher, who’s still going strong after having an aortic valve replacement at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs in April 2018.
Harry is just one of over 100 patients who have had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (or TAVR) at UCHealth Memorial since the program began a little over 2 years ago. Harry was a perfect candidate for the less-invasive TAVR procedure, says Dr. Peter Walinsky.
“He’s a classic TAVR patient — this is who the procedure was made for. He’s 93 years old but otherwise functional. His main problem was his aortic valve was killing him. Statistically, he had a 50% chance of dying in the next two years and a much higher chance of significant hospitalization or a really poor quality of life. He had his TAVR and went home the next day.”
Dr. Walinsky says so far, the results at Memorial with the TAVR procedure are as good or better than any major heart center in the country. It’s one reason why Memorial was recently designated as a Heartcare center, an elite designation from the American College of Cardiology. It’s the only hospital in the state to be recognized as such.
“We are doing a good volume of patients, and our results have been as good as any place. As good as Cleveland Clinic, and as good as Cedars-Sinai. In our first hundred-plus patients our operative mortality is less than 2%. The national average is about 2.6% for good programs.”
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