LANSING, Mich. — McLaren Greater Lansing now offers a procedure that gives literal breathing room to patients who suffer from aortic stenosis and need a replacement aortic valve.
Cardiologist Majid M. Mughal, MD, is performing Percutaneous Balloon Aortic Valvuloplasty (PBAV) for some patients with calcium buildups in their aortic valve, giving them up to a few months of relief from their symptoms before they receive a replacement valve at McLaren’s Flint hospital.
“Aortic valve stenosis is the most common valve disease as we age,” said Dr. Mughal. “Patients with aortic valve stenosis typically experience shortness of breath as the first sign that something is wrong.”
PBAV is a non-surgical procedure in which a physician runs a catheter through a small incision in a patient’s leg into their heart and inflates a tiny balloon to expand the narrowed aortic valve. This helps relieve the shortness of breath that many patients feel while they are moving toward having a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).
“McLaren Greater Lansing has made a step forward in providing advanced treatment for aortic valve stenosis without going through an open procedure,” said Dr. Mughal. “There’s no surgery, sutures, or chest tubes with PBAV, and patients are typically discharged within 24 hours.”
Patients who move on to have TAVR can feel comfortable in the procedure after having PBAV at McLaren Greater Lansing because it follows the same non-surgical process, using a catheter through the leg to put the replacement valve in place. PBAV can also make it easier for physicians to perform a TAVR because the implanted balloon creates more space for the valve to be inserted.
Providing a bridge to TAVR through PBAV is an important step for people who need a replacement aortic valve, especially in older patients. “Aortic stenosis is not just a quality-of-life issue,” said Dr. Mughal. “Beyond shortness of breath, patients can experience swelling of the legs, passing out, and eventually heart failure.”
McLaren Greater Lansing is working toward offering TAVR procedures locally as it works in close partnership with McLaren Flint to care for patients who currently need aortic valve replacements. Offering PBAV in Lansing is the first step toward establishing a TAVR program in mid-Michigan that matches McLaren Greater Lansing’s standards of excellent care.