Doctors make headway in heart valve replacement surgery

Doctors make headway in heart valve replacement surgery
Surgeons make an incision through an artery in the leg. (Source: NBC)

(KAIT/NBC) - One Rochester, New York man is grateful to recover at home from what used to be a massive surgery.

John Wood is the first person in the state to leave within hours of getting a heart valve replaced.

Just eight years ago, patients would undergo open heart surgery.

That's how Wood's original valve was replaced, causing a week of recovery in the hospital.

This time, John went through a procedure called TAVR which allows doctors to use a catheter to replace your aortic heart valve.

Cardiology Specialist Jeremiah Depta says they make an incision through an artery in the leg.

"There is a period of recovery after that where you are looking at about 4-6 weeks for the chest to heal, sometimes longer, then another month off driving," Dr. Depta says.

Dr. Depta also says 90 percent of people treated at Rochester Regional are able to leave within two days.

Click here to learn more about risks associated with the procedure like bleeding, infection and heart rhythm abnormalities.

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