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Major advancement for once inoperable ailing heart valves

For a select group of critically ill patients, there is now hope - thanks to a newly available procedure - to correct ailing heart valves. Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) offers patients with aortic stenosis, the most common type of valvular disease, an opportunity for minimally invasive treatment.  The procedure is considered such a major breakthrough that Stanford cardiovascular surgeon Craig Miller, MD, calls it "a major medical paradigm shift, something to address an otherwise fatal disease in patients whom we once could offer nothing but supportive care and counseling."

At 76, Gary Verwer represents a growing population of patients who have their lives back thanks to this new procedure. He is featured in the video above, as well as in a press release that notes that Stanford Hospital was the first facility in the Bay Area to be given the go-ahead by the FDA to use the Edwards Sapien transcatheter heart valve.

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