Essentia Health’s heart valve replacement program expands to help more patients

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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A revolutionary heart procedure that has given cardiac patients a life-saving alternative to open heart surgery is now expanding to treat more patients. The Food and Drug Administration now allows intermediate-risk patients the option of having transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a minimally invasive procedure that replaces the aortic valve.

“Risk for open heart surgery is determined by a multidisciplinary group of physicians and coordinators,” said Dr. Jason Schultz, an interventional cardiologist who directs the TAVR program at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Previously, TAVR was approved for only high-risk patients who were not good operative candidates.”

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