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Local hospital celebrates 500th milestone of a lifesaving heart procedure

Eisenhower Health is celebrating its 500th procedure of a lifesaving heart procedure: transcatheter aortic valve replacement. It's a minimally invasive procedure mainly for people who aren't good candidates for open-heart surgery. Before, medium-risk patients didn't have an alternative.

The director of the transcatheter valve program at Eisenhower Health, Dr. Puneet Khana, was one of the doctors on the 500th operation.

"It's actually been probably one of the most gratifying things I've been involved with in my 30 year career so far," Puneet. "It is transformational technology. This was something that could only have been achieved previously by a very big operation where we open the chest and replace the valve surgically."

Khana also said the TAVR team is constantly improving the procedure. TAVR repairs the aortic valve without removing the already damaged valve. The artificial valve is placed in the opening pushing the old valve out of the way. The artificial valve then takes on the function of the old one.

Some of the TAVR patients at Eisenhower Health say they owe their life to the doctors performing the procedure.

"It's wonderful! And as opposed to having your chest cut open, where the recovery is months or weeks or with rehabs and everything else, it is magic," said Eisenhower Health TAVR patient, Micki Greenspan. "And so you'll feel like I do just wonderfully lucky."

Greenspan encourages

Eisenhower Health is currently the only hospital in the Coachella Vally conducting TAVR procedures. You can click here to find out more about the TAVR procedure at Eisenhower Health.

"If you have any kind of chest pains, whatever, go see your doctor," said Greenspan. "Don't fool around, and it might be that you could have the surgery and be all better and go forward with your life, which I do."

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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