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St. Luke's is First in Idaho to Offer Powerful New Heart Procedure

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
September 7, 2012

I couldn't be more proud of St. Luke's Heart, leading the way, and our patients, who've partnered with us for more than 40 years in innovative heart treatment, as we transform how heart repair happens. Watch this amazing story.

And I’ve asked Dr. Marshall Priest, medical director of St. Luke’s Heart, to write about this exciting new procedure: 

St. Luke’s Heart has been selected as one of four hospitals in the Pacific Northwest, and the only hospital in Idaho, to perform the new Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure.

TAVR provides an alternative to traditional surgical aortic valve replacement for selected patients with severe aortic valve stenosis. Patients with severe aortic valve stenosis who may be candidates for TAVR include:

  • Older patients with severe lung and/or kidney disease.
  • Patients who have had one or more open heart surgeries.
  • Patients physically unable to undergo open heart surgery.
  • Patients who have had chest radiation.
The procedure allows for replacement of the diseased aortic valve without open heart surgery. The new aortic valve is delivered to the heart on a catheter through a small incision in an artery in the groin. The procedure is performed while the patient is receiving a general anesthetic. Typically the patient is able to recover and return home on the second or third day following the procedure. Three patients have successfully had the TAVR procedure performed at St. Luke’s since July.

St. Luke’s has established a Heart Valve Center, bringing together a team of experienced cardiac specialists to offer the most comprehensive care in our region for patients with heart valve disease. Dr. Robert Duerr, director of the Heart Valve Center, has assembled a team of cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiac nurses, and technical support personnel to assist in evaluating and caring for patients with heart valve disease. Paige Deitzel RN is the nurse coordinator for the Heart Valve Center. 


About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.