DANBURY, Connecticut – September 2, 2016 – Ninety-year-old Woodbury Resident Elisabeth Stritzel is looking forward to being able to tend to her vegetable garden and flower beds since having her failing aortic valve replaced at Danbury Hospital.
Mrs. Stritzel is the 100th patient to undergo the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure there. Cardiovascular physicians from the Danbury Hospital Heart Valve Center have been performing the minimally invasive procedure since October 2013.
Mrs. Stritzel’s aortic valve was successfully replaced by a team of interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons that include Mark Warshofsky, Hal Wasserman, Marc Krichavsky, Cary Passik, Eugene Fernandes and Robert Gallagher. She was released after three days in the hospital and soon returned to life as normal.
“I am glad I made the decision to have the procedure because I feel better and I can breathe much easier now,” Mrs. Stritzel said.
“TAVR is an option for patients at high risk for standard aortic valve replacement because of advanced age or other medical conditions. TAVR offers new hope for certain high-risk patients,” said interventional cardiologist Dr. Hal Wasserman, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Cary Passik explained that before TAVR, the only option for patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis was standard aortic valve replacement surgery, which involved surgically opening the chest.
“We’ve gone from a four-hour procedure and a four- or five-day hospitalization with standard open-heart surgery to a 90-minute TAVR procedure and a three-day hospital stay, providing our patients less discomfort and a quicker recovery. We have an excellent team of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other professionals that work together to care for these patients,” added Dr. Wasserman.
Recently, The FDA approved the TAVR procedure for patients at intermediate risk for adverse events from traditional open-heart surgery. “We are excited about what this expanded intermediate risk indication means to our patients,” said Eileen Hurley, APRN, Heart Valve Program coordinator. “Now, those patients who were not given the opportunity to have a TAVR procedure can benefit from this exciting technology. This groundbreaking technology is offered at Danbury Hospital for both intermediate and high-risk or inoperable patients who have severe aortic stenosis.”
“Everyone involved in my care before, during and after my procedure reassured me and gave me confidence to get through it. I am very grateful for the excellent staff at Danbury Hospital,” said Mrs. Stritzel.
For more information regarding TAVR – the minimally invasive surgical procedure to replace the aortic valve – call the Danbury Hospital Heart Valve Center at (203) 739-6858.
About the Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center
The Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center at Danbury Hospital offers life-saving cardiovascular care. Our specialists and skilled clinical teams are supported by the most advanced technology, which allows them to rapidly diagnose and effectively treat cardiac and vascular diseases.
The Center is Chest Pain accredited and has an experienced team of doctors, nurses and technicians recruited from the finest academic medical centers available 24/7 for emergency treatment of heart attacks. Our Vascular Surgery Service is Vein Center accredited, an award shared by less than 50 vein centers nationwide. Our patients experience the best service and outcomes in the region while staying close to home because all the resources they need are right here.
Patients have access to a range of services, supported by generous donors, including disease prevention, diagnostic testing, interventional cardiology, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) endovascular stenting, electrophysiology and minimally invasive open heart and vascular surgery.
Other resources include the Marcus Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, the Women’s Cardiac Program, clinical research trials and support services and programs. The Center is a regional training facility for interns, residents and cardiovascular disease fellows.
About Western Connecticut Health Network
Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) is the region’s premier, patient-centred health care organization built for the people they serve in Western Connecticut and adjacent New York.
WCHN is anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, with the continuum of outpatient health and wellness services offered by numerous medical practices and sub-specialties across the region through the Western Connecticut Medical Group and Western Connecticut Home Care.
Committed to learning and innovation, our hospitals collaborate with the University of Vermont Medical College and many other well-known academic institutions to promote the most progressive care possible.
The nationally renowned WCHN Research Institute, the WCHN Foundation and Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates complete the WCHN family where We Know You Well!℠ For more information, visit www.WCHN.org.