“I had no energy,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything. I was out of breath, tired and very limited in what I was able to do.” While John could still enjoy activities such as playing the piano or writing—he had lost his physically active lifestyle. “I was having a hard time getting on the bus,” he said.
Luckily, John’s cardiologist referred him to the specialists at Lenox Hill Heart & Lung who were recognized by Healthgrades’ 100 best heart programs in America, five years in a row. Chad Kliger, MD, the director of Structural Heart Disease and a structural interventional cardiologist, is at the forefront of treatments for valve disease and recommended a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for John’s aortic stenosis.
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that allows patients to avoid open-heart surgery, and often provides patients with a faster recovery and shorter stay in the hospital. It involves a physician guiding a catheter, the majority of the time, through an artery in the leg to the heart with an artificial valve attached. The artificial valve replaces the original valve and restores normal blood flow. “I thought the idea sounded great,” said John.
He describes the procedure as a relatively easy process compared to some of the surgeries he’s had, including a knee replacement. “And, I love Dr. Kliger. He’s a good guy,” said John. “He and his staff at Lenox Hill Heart & Lung have treated me very well and I've always been happy there.”