In sickness and health: one couple’s TAVR story

320x320 Dorothea and Bernard Bach share their TAVR storiesBernard and Dorothea Bach have experienced a great deal in their 64 years of marriage, including the births of four children and 12 grandchildren, as well as countless memories that have made their life together special. What makes them especially unique is the fact that they’ve also shared the experience of having a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, which has helped them both get back to better health. They share their TAVR story here.

A year and a half ago, Bernard felt he was slowing down a bit. At age 89, he wasn’t able to do his regular workout routine and was experiencing shortness of breath. With a history of heart issues, including a new artificial heart valve in 2000 to replace a leaking valve, Bernard’s latest symptoms led to an emergency room visit where an echocardiogram revealed aortic valve regurgitation. Continue reading

Is it old age, or aortic stenosis symptoms?

Those suffering aortic stenosis symptoms often attribute them to old age

Elderly man and stethoscope - aortic stenosis symptoms can mimic signs of aging

Is your elderly parent or loved one “just getting older”? Or could his or her health problems be aortic stenosis symptoms?

Is your elderly parent or loved one experiencing normal slowdowns in health as a result of old age, or is it something more severe?

Aortic stenosis symptoms parallel health concerns that are often attributed to old age, including:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Increasing fatigue and low energy level
  • Heart murmur
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Fainting or passing out

What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the aortic valve does not open fully, decreasing blood flow from the heart to the body. Severe aortic stenosis is often unpreventable and is most commonly attributed to old age (70+). Other causes may be a buildup of calcium deposits causing narrowing of the valve, high blood pressure, radiation therapy or a history of rheumatic fever.

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Cardiovascular Center celebrates 200th TAVR, new hope for aortic patients

GenevieveBoguszewsi-blog

Genevieve Boguszewski, 87, enjoying life after TAVR to replace aortic valve.

Slowing down with age was something Genevieve Boguszewski simply couldn’t accept. By age 87, a body changes but she suddenly couldn’t manage her own gardening or vacuum a rug. She needed oxygen just to get around.

Following care at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center to replace a diseased aortic valve, she’s not just getting older, but better. Elderly patients like her often cannot tolerate open heart surgery, but with the TAVR procedure, valve replacement was possible.

“I could tell from the look on his face how far I’d come,” she says of her 30-day follow-up visit with University of Michigan interventional cardiologist Stanley Chetcuti, M.D. “He said I didn’t look like the same person. I definitely don’t feel like the same person. I told him ‘It’s because of you that I feel good again.’ “

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