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Community | Press Release | Vision for a Healthier Tomorrow

On May 21, Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) honors 10 years of groundbreaking cardiac care with the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure. This milestone celebration not only highlights the advancements in technology but also the profound impact on the lives of patients like Hope Pinkerton, who underwent the procedure in February 2020.

TAVR is a minimally invasive heart valve procedure for patients who are not considered candidates for open heart surgery. The artificial valve is designed to replace the patient’s defective heart valve without opening the patient’s chest.

Hope Pinkerton, a vibrant 94-year-old with an inspiring story, shared her journey leading up to the decision to undergo the TAVR procedure. Following a car accident, which she considers a blessing in disguise, medical evaluations revealed a critical issue with her heart completely unrelated to the accident. Hope’s cardiologist, Dr. Habteab Feseha, presented her with the diagnosis and treatment options, emphasizing the life-saving potential of the TAVR procedure.

“The way they explained it is that I needed a valve that was working. Without treatment I had about six months to live,” shared Hope, reflecting on the comprehensive and easy-to-understand explanation provided by her medical team. With the support of her daughter and the reassurance of her healthcare providers, Hope underwent the TAVR procedure at YRMC. She described the experience as overwhelmingly positive, highlighting the expertise and care exhibited by Dr. Feseha, and the entire medical team.

Hope’s recovery after the TAVR procedure was smooth and remarkable, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. During her recovery, she was able to maintain her independence and engage in activities such as riding her stationary bike and taking daily walks.

As YRMC prepares to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the TAVR procedure, Hope Pinkerton’s story serves as inspiration for others considering the procedure. “It extended my life. I feel so fortunate that I had this option,” expressed Hope.

The procedure lasts approximately two hours and patients usually go home the next morning. Open heart surgery usually requires seven to 10 days of recovery time post-operation. TAVR patients also resume their regular activities and schedules one to two weeks after the procedure compared to approximately six weeks for open heart surgery patients.

“Hope’s story is the perfect example of the lifesaving and positive life-changing effects of TAVR. As a team, it’s incredibly rewarding to witness such positive outcomes and be part of a medical community committed to progress and putting patients first,” added Dr. Feseha.

Through continued collaboration and innovation, YRMC remains dedicated to enhancing cardiovascular health and empowering individuals to lead fulfilling lives.

For more information, visit www.yumaregional.org/services/heart-care/#vascular-surgery