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Reno, Nevada (June 15, 2022) – Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center recently completed its 400th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, which is a minimally-invasive treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis. The program, which started in 2018, leverages state-of-the-art technology to deliver safe, focused treatment for patients suffering from potentially life-threatening heart valve disease.

The procedure is associated with dramatic increases in quality of life, quicker recovery times, and improved efficiency when compared to other options. Surgical aortic valve replacement, for example, is a form of open heart surgery typically associated with a prolonged inpatient recovery window that stretches beyond 1 week. With the TAVR procedure, however, patients may only require 1-2 days of inpatient recovery. TAVR also supports a complete return to day-to-day activities in a 1-2 week timeframe, compared to multiple months for most open heart surgeries.

“It’s remarkable, really… Patients can go from being winded just getting out of bed before this procedure, and a week or two after being in the hospital, they’re back to living their normal lives and full of energy again,” commented Dr. Richard Bryan, a cardiologist for Saint Mary’s Health Network. “We started offering the TAVR procedure in early 2018, and since then, our teams and this procedure have positively changed the lives of over 400 patients.”

On a larger scale, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center’s TAVR program has begun to gain national attention, with several other hospitals nationwide adopting the model that Saint Mary’s uses for TAVR procedures in their own healthcare settings. This, in part, reflects the magnitude of the program and buoys a recent distinction from the American College of Cardiology that named Saint Mary’s as the only HeartCARE Center in Nevada, along with an award from the American Heart Association recognizing Saint Mary’s with a Gold Plus “Get with the Guidelines” certification.

“Saint Mary’s is proud to offer an extensive line of cardiac services for patients and bring industry-leading procedures like TAVR to Northern Nevada,” said Tiffany Coury, CEO of Saint Mary’s Health Network. “We are also incredibly grateful for the staff and physicians in the cardiology unit who use a team-based approach to provide patients with the highest level of care.”

Aortic stenosis is one of the most common heart valve diseases, yet most do not realize they have the condition until the disease course has significantly progressed. Symptoms include breathlessness, chest pain, fainting, palpitations, a decline in activity level, and a heart murmur. This condition mainly affects seniors over the age of 70, but some patients experience symptom onset as early as 60. If you are interested in learning more about the TAVR procedure, please visit this page that outlines the Structural Heart Program at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center.