NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- New Fairfield resident Nora Robinson, 91, began experiencing shortness of breath upon exertion so she went to see her cardiologist Dr. Brian Pollack of Cardiac Specialists.
“I had quite a bit of a problem for a long time,” Nora Robinson said. “If I walked up my driveway, or walked too far, I would have pain in my heart and be gasping for breath. I was kind of depressed when I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do.”
After a comprehensive examination and diagnostic testing, Pollack diagnosed Robinson with severe aortic stenosis, then referred her to the Heart Valve Center at Danbury Hospital. There, she met Dr. Marc Krichavsky, an interventional cardiologist and the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) team for evaluation.
According to the American Heart Association, aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, which restricts the blood flow exiting the heart, leading to shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain. On June 24, 2015, Krichavsky along with a multidisciplinary cardiac team at Danbury Hospital performed a TAVR procedure on Robinson.
“Rather than have to open up the chest and put the valve in directly, we were able to deliver the valve through an artery in her leg,” Krichavsky said. “The technology is really quite amazing and the patients are able to go home and get back to their normal lives much, much faster.”
Danbury Hospital has been performing the TAVR procedure since October 2013. “I was in the hospital three days only and I was just fine. From the very beginning the teamwork was absolutely fantastic each and every one,” Robinson said.
Patients who come to Danbury Hospital can access all the cardiac specialists they need at one location.
“It’s a tremendous advantage for Danbury Hospital and our surrounding communities to have the TAVR program, where we can offer this cutting-edge care without our patients having to travel outside of their community,” said Krichavsky.
For information regarding TAVR, the minimally invasive surgical procedure to replace the aortic value, call Danbury Hospital Heart Valve Center at (203) 739-6858.