While legendary rockstar Mick Jagger recently underwent a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) at a hospital in New York, many are not candidates for the procedure.
TAVR is a minimally invasive surgery that repairs a damaged heart valve without removing the old valve. This is done by wedging a replacement into the aortic valve opening. Traditional valve replacements require a sternotomy or surgical opening of the chest which displaces bones and requires more healing time. This newer procedure is done through small incisions and allows for the bones of the chest to remain in place.
Currently, the procedure is reserved for those who cannot undergo an open heart procedure. Persons in their 70s or 80s, like Jagger, who is aged 75, are the most common candidates for TAVR. The procedure can be done through one of two incision sites, the femoral artery (transfemoral) or a small incision in the chest (transapical). For Jagger’s procedure, the incision was femoral.
Incredibly, the rockstar was able to be up and moving less than a week after surgery. Although he requires additional recovery time before performing again, Jagger took to Twitter to thank fans for their support.
The first indication a person might need this procedure is often a heart murmur. A murmur is an abnormal sound heard by a doctor through a stethoscope, usually during a routine check-up. Some of these are benign, while others indicate the onset of heart problems. These problems may include stenosis, or narrowing of the heart valve which prevents adequate blood supply from flowing through; regurgitation, which is when a valve allows blood to flow backward; Prolapse, when a valve is not closing properly or atresia, an improperly formed or missing valve. When one of these issues begins to affect a person’s daily life, the procedure is often recommended to repair or replace the valve.
Hopefully, this moment in the spotlight for TAVR provides a boost in demand, funding, and awareness for this less invasive option. This is just another way rock ‘n’ roll can live in our hearts forever.