Back to home Sept. 2012
Patient's Life Restored and Improved with TAVR
"I knew something was wrong," he says. His wife, Marsha, thought so, too. "When he had to give up golf, I knew there was a problem," she says.
Gerrit was diagnosed with aortic stenosis, which occurs when the aortic valve narrows and blood flow is obstructed. Signs and symptoms include chest pain or tightness, dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue and shortness of breath. In the past, treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis included openheart surgery. Since the November 2011 approval from the Food & Drug Administration, a less invasive alternative called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is available.
A six-month resident of Florida and a six-month resident of Michigan, Gerrit knew the mild weather in Florida was helping him. But, he knew he needed to see a doctor. A friend of his raved about cardiothoracic surgeon, Brian Hummel, M.D.
"Dr. Hummel told me that scar tissue around my heart from bypass surgeries I had 20 years ago kept me from being a candidate for open-heart surgery," Gerrit says. "He said no surgeon would touch me. But, a new operation, done through the groin, would be an option. After meeting with Dr. Hummel, I couldn't wait to have it done."
TAVR involves feeding an artificial valve by catheter through the femoral artery in the groin to the heart. Once placed in the correct position, the artificial valve is opened and begins to function. HealthPark Medical Center was the first facility in Florida to perform the TAVR procedure outside of clinical trials.
On Jan. 19, Gerrit had the TAVR procedure. He was the sixth patient to have the procedure at HealthPark Medical Center.
"I wasn't nervous, but my wife and two of my sons were," he says. "I was just ready to get it over with. It ended up being the easiest procedure or operation I've ever had. I didn't need any pain medication and I was out of the hospital four days later."
Gerrit says he felt better almost immediately, but wasn't sure if he should golf again.
"I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Hummel three weeks after the procedure," he says. "I asked him if I'd be able to golf and he told me I could do whatever I wanted. I started golfing again right away."
Now, Gerrit feels better than ever, he golfs twice a week with a league and at least once a week with Marsha.
"A year ago, I felt like I was 93 years old," he says. "But, after the procedure I felt better than I had in years. I feel great now. The entire team did a marvelous job." TAVR is performed and overseen by a cardiothoracic surgeon and cardiologist. At HealthPark Medical Center, the physicians involved include cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hummel, interventional cardiologist, Murali Muppala, M.D., and interventional cardiologist, Steven Priest, M.D.
Learn more about the TAVR procedure and our other cardiac care services.
“I wasn't nervous, but my wife and two of my sons were. I was just ready to get it over with. It ended up being the easiest procedure or operation I've ever had. I didn't need any pain medication and I was out of the hospital four days later,” says TAVR patient, Gerrit Janssen.
American Health Journal - TAVR Aortic Valve Replacement
Brian Hummel, M.D.
Gulfcoast Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeons
8010 Summerlin Lakes Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33907
Murali Muppala, M.D.
Lee Physician Group
14051 Metropolis Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Steven Priest, M.D.
Florida Heart Associates
1550 Barkley Circle
Fort Myers, FL 33907