CVC gives TAVR patient a fresh start

July 18, 2016  //  FOUND IN: News,

At 82 years old, Lois Metzger is happy, healthy and full of energy. She’s also living proof of the life-changing benefits of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The relatively new, minimally-invasive procedure replaces a patient’s heart valve without removing the old, damaged valve. It is only performed by specialized teams, such as the one at U-M’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center, and is a good example of the kind of life-saving innovations routinely developed here at UMHS.

Metzger was one of the first TAVR patients at CVC; today, more than 700 others have undergone the procedure.

The procedure became available only five years ago, giving high-risk heart patients a chance for a much-improved quality of life.

Research led by U-M shows patients are able to get the same five-year results with TAVR as typically seen with a more invasive surgical valve procedure, but without undergoing open heart surgery.

“After the TAVR procedure, patients are ready to go. They want to go home,” says G. Michael Deeb, M.D., professor of cardiac surgery at CVC. “They want to get back into life. It’s that dramatic.”

Suffering fatigue and poor circulation, Metzger says she knew the 2011 TAVR procedure was necessary.

“I have so much energy now. I never have to rest during the day,” Metzger says.

Now the granddaughter of the owner of the famous Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth restaurant travels regularly between Naples, Fla., and Michigan, and says she’s always ready to socialize, celebrate with loved ones and play bridge with friends.

Read more about Metzger’s journey at U-M in the Michigan Health blog.