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  • Cottage Heart and Vascular Center Surpasses 300 TAVR Procedures

    SANTA BARBARA - The Cottage Heart and Vascular Center at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has surpassed more than 300 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures. TAVR makes it possible to replace a heart valve without open-heart surgery.  

    More than 1.5 million people nationwide suffer from aortic stenosis, a serious medical condition where the aortic valve begins to narrow, reducing blood flow from the aorta to the rest of the body. This can cause shortness of breath, dizziness and heart failure. The standard treatment is an aortic valve replacement. However, many patients, especially the elderly, are not able to have open-heart surgery due to the risk of complications. 

    TAVR involves a collapsible aortic heart valve that is inserted into the body via a catheter through the leg, and threaded up to the heart. The breakthrough technology means a surgical incision through the chest is not needed. 

    The first TAVR was performed at Cottage in September 2015, and Margaret Kalin of Lompoc was among the earliest group of patients to have the procedure. She recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. 

    “I had my TAVR when I was 98. I feel great!” Margaret said. “The doctors and nurses at Cottage were the best. Everyone was just wonderful.”

    “Since we launched TAVR four years ago, we’ve completed 314 procedures,” said Dr. Joseph Aragon, interventional cardiologist on the TAVR team. “We’ve seen remarkable results with our patients.”

    Dr. Michael Shenoda, interventional cardiologist on the Cottage TAVR team said, “TAVR is truly a life-changing procedure.”

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