UF Health performing new way to replace heart valve

UF Health procedure speeds up heart valve replacement recovery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local hospital in northeast Florida is performing Transcatherer aortic valve implantation, or TAVI, to replace heart, valves and the procedure involves less recovery time.

Replacing a heart valve is no easy procedure for the doctors or patients. However, it’s something that can be critical to someone’s life.

Eva Good was one of the first patients to go through TAVI at UF Health,

Content Continues Below

The procedure involves a doctor going through a vein near the groin to replace the valve.

“I’ve basically had a heart murmur all my life, but they found out I had a valve that was closed,” Good said.

Dr. Daniel Soffer, a cardiologist at UF Health, said the procedure was created to prevent open heart surgery.

“It replaces open heart surgery, or even minimally invasive surgery it’s more invasive than this procedure,” Soffer said.

Another cardiologist, Dr. Andres Pineda, said they use the TAVI method when other areas of the body are harder to travel through because of other health concerns.

“When people have a lot of calcium deposits in the aortas, the aortic wall,” Pineda said.

The TAVI procedure is performed at several hospitals and it is known to help patients heal faster, but, what makes UF Health stand out?

The hospital does more complex cases which involves a new approach - transcaval. This method is only beng done by a handful of hospital in the country. UF Health is the only hospital in the local area that can perform this approach. Good is the only patient in the area to have the transcaval approach.

Doctors said once the heart valve is placed, patients typically can go home in one to two days and start to see improvement almost immediately.

Good encourages anyone who needs a heart valve replacement to consider this method.

“It wasn’t even two weeks after I got home and I mowed the grass. I’m doing stuff around the house that I wasn’t able to do before. I would recommend it definitely. In less than 48 hours I was home,” Good said.

If you would like to contact the Structural Heart Team for an evaluation, please call 904-244-4907 or click here.

Download WJAX Apps