New Structural Heart Program Provides Minimally Invasive Alternatives to Open Heart Surgery
Minimally-invasive procedures involve entering the patient's heart through an artery in the leg or arm instead of opening the chest to correct life-threatening or quality of life-reducing heart conditions. Because of the smaller entry point and reduced overall disruption to the body, these procedures have significantly shorter hospital stays and significantly faster and more comfortable recovery times.
These procedures return the patient to their home quickly, with full to near-to-full recovery within a week, and they are covered by most insurance programs.
Open heart surgery generally requires three to five days in the hospital, and full-recovery isn't expected for several months. For many in need of treatment, the risk of an open heart procedure and its intense recovery are simply too great. In fact, a significant portion of the population is ineligible for open heart surgery due to existing chronic illness, advanced age, or weakness.
"Structural heart disease intervention is a new expanding field of interventional cardiology. The scope and the practice of structural heart disease interventions is going to continue to increase, and this is going to be to the great advantage of patients because now patients and providers will have safe and less invasive approaches for the treatment of their disease," says Dr. Saibal Kar, interventional cardiologist and the Structural Heart Program Medical Director at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital.
Dr. Kar is also director of structural heart disease interventions at Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Los Angeles. He is also Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. An astute clinician, teacher, and researcher, Dr. Kar is a skilled interventional cardiologist with a special expertise in structural heart disease interventions. His research interests are focused on coronary restenosis, device development and the advancement of percutaneous techniques in the valvular heart disease and devices for the prevention of stroke. Involved in both clinical and experimental research, Dr Kar is one of the lead enrollers and principal investigators of trials involving treatment of valvular heart disease and methods to prevent stroke associated with atrial fibrillation. He has published extensively and has been invited to several countries around the world for international conferences and proctoring physicians around the world to perform these complex procedures.
Bakersfield Heart Hospital's Alternatives to Open Heart Surgery include:
Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) for severe aortic stenosis
MitraClip® Mitral Valve Repair for mitral regurgitation (a leaky mitral valve)
Closure of Left Atrial Appendage using the WATCHMAN™ Device to reduce stroke risk in Atrial Fibrillation patients unable to take blood-thinners
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) / Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closures for holes in the heart tissue
Bakersfield Heart Hospital is the first hospital in Kern County to introduce The MitraClip® Mitral Valve Repair procedure.
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