Sierra Medical Center Launches TAVR Surgery for Aortic Valve Patients

Sierra Medical Center (SMC), the region’s newest hospital, announced the launch of a new procedure for aortic stenosis, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). The TAVR procedure is designed to treat severe aortic valve stenosis, which results in blocked or slowed blood flow from the heart. TAVR offers patients a new option when treating advanced cardiac disease.

“Sierra Medical Center’s launch of the TAVR procedure is a great asset to our community,” said Dr. Ram Challapalli, MD, FACC, electrophysiologist. “Our patients now have increased access to a non-invasive procedure to treat ongoing cardiac health concerns.”

Treating Cardiac Disease at Northern Nevada Sierra

To learn more about TAVR and other advanced cardiac disease treatments, visit our structural heart program.

According to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, approximately 2.5 million people in the U.S. over the age of 75 suffer from severe aortic valve stenosis and without a valve replacement, patients have a survival rate as low as 50% at two years and 20% at five years, after the onset of symptoms. The TAVR procedure enables the placement of a balloon-expandable valve into the heart via a catheter-based approach to replace a damaged valve.

“TAVR has shown to increase a patient’s quality of life by reducing severe symptoms of their condition, and our team is proud to be able to serve those in our community suffering from aortic valve stenosis,” said Devang Desai, MD, interventional cardiologist.

Aortic valve stenosis risk factors include high blood pressure, abnormal lipids, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Symptoms can include a heart murmur or palpitations, chest pain, feeling faint or dizzy, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Without a valve replacement, aortic valve stenosis can lead to heart failure and stroke. We encourage the community to learn more about heart attack and stroke signs.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

  • Chest discomfort
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Stroke Warning Signs – F.A.S.T.

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 9-1-1