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New Valve Clinic Helps Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis

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SARASOTA (June 12, 2012) – With people living longer, more are becoming susceptible to severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the heart valves), but many patients – because of age or other health issues – cannot tolerate open heart surgery to treat it.

Now, a breakthrough procedure that allows doctors to replace the diseased valve without surgery is providing new hope to the estimated 40 percent of people living with the potentially deadly condition.

Bolstered by its collaboration with New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, Sarasota Memorial opened a new Heart Valve Center this month and has begun  evaluating patients with valve disorders to identify those who could benefit from a new minimally invasive procedure – Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) – the only catheter-based treatment option for people with severe aortic valve disease who are not eligible for surgery. FDA approved, TAVR has been shown to dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life.

Aortic stenosis reduces the valve’s ability to open and close completely and can cause severe shortness of breath, chest pain and weakness, said David Patterson, executive director of Sarasota Memorial’s Heart & Vascular Services. The condition can result from a birth defect, heart attack, hypertension, aortic aneurysm or infection; however, some causes are unknown. Left untreated, heart valve disease can result in heart failure, severe infection and sudden death.

“Basically, TAVR allows us to replace the valve through a small opening near the groin, rather than open heart surgery,” Patterson said. While there is an increased chance of stroke with TAVR, studies show that for the inoperable, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. For older, inoperable heart patients, some of whom would not last a year with the blockage, the procedure can be life-saving.

For information about Sarasota Memorial’s Heart Valve Clinic or to be screened for TAVR treatment, please call (941) 917-6969 or click here.

Media Contact: Kim Savage, (941) 917-6271 or

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System 
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 800,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 806-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, safest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in the Suncoast region (Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties) ever to make HealthGrades’ 50 best list. For information, visit:

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