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Celebrating our 100th TAVR procedure

You don’t have to travel to Chicago, St. Louis or Evansville for a minimally invasive surgery that our physicians are calling, "one of the most impactful innovations over the last decade in cardiovascular surgery."

Known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), this procedure repairs your aortic valve, without removing the damaged valve. In its place, it puts a replacement valve into the aortic valve's place.

This FDA-approved treatment is for patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis, who are considered an intermediate or high risk patient for standard valve replacement surgery. Most people who have this procedure are between age 70 and 80.

Since 2018, our surgeons have completed the 100th TAVR procedure. We’re honoring our patients and doctors this summer with special events to celebrate their success. So many of our patients are glad they stayed close-to-home to for the procedure because they didn’t have to:

Worry about traveling to a different city Spend money on hotel rooms Take more time off work to plan for the trip

SIH Prairie Heart Institute began performing the TAVR procedure in Carbondale. The minimally invasive option places SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale in the top 10th percentile of hospitals in the nation in terms of cardiovascular complexity. It is the only Illinois south of Springfield using this technique. And, as with so much of SIH's approach, TAVR features a collaborative team process. Interventional cardiologists with Prairie Cardiovascular operate together with SIH Medical Group cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac catheterization lab technicians and surgical support teams.

The best part about the procedure is that there’s no surgical incision through the chest — instead, your surgeon will access the valve through your neck or groin. Since it’s a minimally invasive procedure, your hospital stay will be about three days. Patients report feeling like they can breathe better after the procedure and can go back to their regular routine within a matter of a week.

Regina Einig of Makanda was one of our first patients who had the procedure.

"I had the surgery on Thursday, went home on Saturday, went to church on Sunday and taught piano on Monday,” Einig says, with a smile. “It's just so hard to even imagine that. I assumed that if I was going to have TAVR, I would have to go someplace else."

And now, with her heart working normally again, Einig says she found "...really good care, right here!"

What Are The Benefits of TAVR?

You should start feeling better right away. This is because your heart valve is now working properly. Some patients may take longer to feel better.

Many TAVR patients report benefits like:

  • Having more energy
  • Being able to do everyday activities
  • Breathing normally
  • Experiencing less pain
  • Feeling less anxious

What will my recovery time be like?

Since TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure, most patients leave the hospital in 1-3 days.

What preparation should I do beforehand?

Your valve clinic team will provide you with instructions of how to prepare for your TAVR procedure.