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Latest advancements in heart care

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Heart valve disease, such as aortic stenosis, can be extremely serious and life-threatening.

Aortic stenosis is a particularly common form of valve disease in the elderly population that can fortunately be screened for fairly easily using an echocardiogram.

Although the development of aortic stenosis may initially be slow and gradual, the disease often progresses relatively quickly and ultimately becomes fatal once the degree of stenosis becomes severe and patients develop signs of congestive heart failure.

Until recently, the only effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis was replacement of the aortic valve using conventional open heart surgery.

While this remains the standard of treatment for most patients, some patients are not candidates for surgery due to issues such as advanced age and/or co-existing medical problems. Over the last few years, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has emerged as an alternative treatment for patients who are not candidates for conventional surgery.

Development of new technologies for the treatment of heart valve disease, such as the TAVR procedure, requires collaboration between interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac imaging specialists and other related medical providers.

In order to offer the latest advancements in heart valve disease treatment to patients throughout the community, Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center has established the Structural Heart Valve Program, a multidisciplinary heart valve disease clinic employing a dedicated team of specialists with a variety of different backgrounds to collaborate and offer the best possible care to patients.

The team administered their first TAVR procedure in early March 2014, and have since performed six successful procedures, with two more scheduled next week.

They have seen immediate benefits, especially in the elderly population, with a much more rapid return to patients’ independence.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Clarence Owen and Dr. Michael Cooper are co-directors of the Structural Heart Valve Program at the Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center.

Dr. Clarence Owen is a cardiac and thoracic surgeon at Triad Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Owen is a 1989 graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, completing his residency in general surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

He also completed a fellowship in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. Michael Cooper is an interventional cardiologist at LeBauer HeartCare and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group.

Dr. Cooper is a 2000 graduate of Marshall University School of Medicine.

He completed his residency in internal medicine at Mayo Clinic and completed a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology at Ohio State University Hospital.