Urbana, OH resident Elizabeth Bowshier (left in photo above), age 73, planned on having surgery to replace her right knee. However, when she arrived at her pre-operation appointment to get cleared for the procedure, things did not go quite as planned.
Elizabeth’s workup showed her aortic valve was not opening well and was impacting her heart function. In hindsight, Elizabeth does admit she had been experiencing fatigue, as well as shortness of breath and swelling in her legs.
After learning of her condition, she met with Soumya Neravetla, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Mercy Health, who told Elizabeth she was eligible for a minimally invasive procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR.
TAVR is a minimally invasive heart procedure that use catheters. They are inserted through a small incision in the chest or, in Elizabeth’s case, the groin. A team of cardiac specialists then uses the catheters to insert a replacement valve inside of the damaged valve. As new valve expands, it pushes the old valve out of place and takes over its function.
Elizabeth shares that Dr. Neravetla as well as Faiq Akhter, MD, a Mercy Health cardiologist made a great team when performing her surgery. Jeanne Peabody, a Mercy Health nurse (right in photo above) also had a very special impact on Elizabeth.
“The team that worked with me, they were an awesome team,” she says. “From the doctors and nurses right down to the guy that gave me the anesthetic, he was a hoot.”
In regards to the actual TAVR procedure, Elizabeth was impressed with how easy such an important surgery could be. She also notes that the surgery was performed in the morning and she was home in time for dinner the next day. Today, she is feeling better than ever with more energy.
“I run circles around my kids and they tell me I’ve got to slow down,” she says.
Also, take our free, online heart risk assessment to learn more about your own heart health.