Essentia Health-Fargo reaches medical milestone

The hospital completes 100th transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Essentia Health
Essentia Health-Fargo marked a major milestone on Monday, Jan. 31, with the completion of a 100th transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
Image: Screen capture of video courtesy of Essentia Health
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Essentia Health-Fargo marked a major milestone on Monday with the completion of a 100th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery for treating aortic stenosis, according to information from Essentia. Essentia Health-Fargo began offering TAVR in August 2020.

“We are incredibly proud of this significant milestone, which has helped many in our community live longer and fuller lives,” Dr. Alok Saurav, an Essentia Health interventional cardiologist, said in a statement. He gave a nod to the team at Essentia, and said, “We’re grateful for the trust and faith placed in us by our patients as we champion this life-saving procedure.”

According to Essentia, aortic stenosis is a common heart valve disease. It is the thickening of the aortic valve opening that restricts normal blood flow to the entire body. If left untreated and unrepaired, it is potentially fatal. Patients who suffer from aortic stenosis often experience symptoms that can restrict normal day-to-day activities due to shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain or fatigue.

That was true in the case of Carol Albin, who arrived at Essentia Health with breathing problems and chose to proceed with TAVR after receiving a diagnosis of acute aortic stenosis. Albin’s procedure was a success, and she is now back on her feet, enjoying her favorite pastimes once again.


Watch Albin’s story here .

During a TAVR procedure, a tiny uninflated balloon is placed in an artery near the groin. The balloon is threaded up to the heart on a guide wire through a catheter. Once the balloon reaches the heart it is inflated to widen your narrowed aortic valve. This makes space for a new artificial valve to be placed inside the heart.

The benefits of TAVR, Essentia says, include shorter hospital stay and recovery time, minimally invasive treatment, and a life-saving option for high-risk patients.

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