A recent study shows that minimally invasive aortic valve replacement can actually benefit patients over age 85. TAVI stands for transcatheter aortic valve replacement. The full report is in the Jan. 2014 The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
More and more people over the age of 85, even 90, are requiring heart surgery, says this report. However, about 30 percent of them are not being recommended for surgery, due to their advanced age, even though they have severe symptoms of valve disease.
A group of researchers from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU)-Henri Mondor in Creteil, France, investigated the results of TAVI in very elderly patients.
“Our study found TAVI to provide acceptable clinical results in very elderly populations,” says Mansanori Yamamoto, MD.
TAVI is minimally invasive, and thus, elderly patients do not require as much time to recover than if they had a more invasive form of aortic valve surgery.
Faster recovery means earlier mobility following surgery. This earlier mobility, says Dr. Yamamoto, is crucial in the elderly patient to retain neuromuscular strength and physical functioning. TAVI utilizes a smaller incision than invasive surgery.
The report goes on to say that transcatheter aortic valve replacement “may be a good therapeutic option even in very elderly patients.”
Why would an aortic valve need to be replaced in the first place? The valve is located between the main pumping chamber of the heart and the main artery that sends blood throughout the body (this artery is the aorta). If this valve isn’t working properly, the body won’t receive adequate blood supply. (Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aortic-valve-disease/basics/definition/con-20032612)
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Source for study: