Submitted by Providence

Walter (Ed) Duke, a 77-year-old Olympia resident, says he’s “no spring chicken,” but even so, his declining physical capacity last year seemed out of line with his normal fitness level.

“Just a year or two ago, I’d been riding a bicycle four days a week for 20 miles and walking a lot,” Ed says. But exercise started feeling harder. Eventually Ed had to take breaks when he was out shopping, or walking up his stairs at home. “I started losing physical ability and feeling tired and short of breath,” he says. “The change happened fast.”

Ed’s cardiologist diagnosed him with aortic stenosis (AS) — the most common valve-related heart disease among the elderly in the U.S. When a valve becomes narrow (stenosis) so blood can’t flow freely, your heart stops effectively moving oxygen-rich blood. People who have severe AS and develop symptoms (such as tiredness with minor activity, shortness of breath and chest pain) usually need surgery to replace the under-functioning valve.

Replace the Valve – Restore the Flow

Providence Olympia Valve Replacement
If you need a heart valve replaced, TAVR may help you avoid open heart surgery. Photo courtesy: Providence

Ed was evaluated by the cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology team at Providence to determine what treatment could offer the best outcome. Fortunately, Providence started offering transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in Olympia last July, and Ed was found to be a good candidate for this collaborative procedure that involves cardiologists and cardiac surgeons..

Ed’s TAVR was scheduled for December 2017.

A month after the procedure, Ed says he’s very pleased with his progress. He’s working on getting stronger and participates in the cardiac rehab program. “I’m already in at least as good shape as I was a year ago, and getting better,” he says. “I was told the goal was to restore the same quality of life you had before, but in my case, there’s been significant improvement.”

Ed is happy with his TAVR experience, and glad to avoid the trauma of open heart surgery (he had open surgery at Providence 15 years ago and clearly recalls his long, difficult recovery back then). “I’d have an open heart surgery if I had to, but this is my preference,” he says. “If you need valve replacement and you’re eligible for TAVR, you’re lucky, believe me.”

For more information:
Providence Cardiology Associates
500 Lilly Rd NE
Memorial Medical Plaza
Olympia, WA 98506

Providence Cardiac Surgery
525 Lilly Road NE #200
Olympia, WA 98506

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