Sparrow celebrates cardiology milestone


Published: Nov. 23, 2015

Patients from around Michigan recently gathered to celebrate an innovative procedure they had performed at Sparrow - transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Sparrow Heart and Vascular Center recently performed its 100thTAVR and held a reception for the Patients, their families and Caregivers to mark the milestone. Sparrow is the only health system in mid-Michigan performing this procedure. 

Patient Helen Shell, 90, shared her success story. Before TAVR, she was unable to navigate the grocery store. She’s now able to shop without issue. Her husband, John Gross, 92, was the 100th TAVR Patient in late-October and is also doing well.

TAVR is a relatively new, minimally invasive procedure for people with severe aortic stenosis (a narrowing of valves in the heart, restricting blood flow) who, through age or illness, are considered high risk for open heart surgery. The recovery time for TAVR is normally shorter than open heart surgery and less invasive than the traditional open heart valve replacement, which provides an option for severe aortic stenosis Patients.

Patients with severe aortic stenosis can experience breathlessness, chest pain, pressure or tightness, fainting or palpitations. These symptoms cause a decline in their activity levels and quality of life.

The specialized team at Sparrow includes Cardiology Interventionists Guarav Dhar, M.D. and Nam Cho, D.O., Cardiologists A. Rao Bandi, M.D., and T. Michael Brown, D.O., Cardiovascular Surgeons Norbert Baumgartner, M.D, and Ara Pridjian, M.D. The team also includes Physician Assistant Erin Wilson as well as anesthesia Physicians and specially trained technicians and Nurses.

Tom Ostrander, Vice President of Professional Services at Sparrow, spoke about the TAVR program’s history at Sparrow under the direction of Dr. Dhar and its future growth and success. Dr. Dhar thanked Caregivers and fellow Physicians for their hard work and dedication, often coming in on days off to accommodate Patients.

Choose Wisely. Choose Sparrow.