After a team effort at Westside Hospital, Ashley's TAVR was complete. She was monitored overnight and walked out of the hospital the next morning.
Due to a history of seizures and open-heart surgery to replace her aortic valve, 35-year-old Ashley Curtis hasn’t had a chance to have a baby. As she was getting ready to start trying again, she began to feel shortness of breath and that’s when an echo of her heart found that her bioprosthetic valve was now failing. Although Ashley felt that undergoing another open-heart surgery would affect her chances of having a baby forever, board-certified interventional cardiologist Dr. Kevin Ergle and cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Robert Farivar had different plans.
“Ms. Curtis is the beneficiary of a lesser invasive technology called valve-in-valve transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), where we put a TAVR valve in a failing surgical valve through the groin. What this means is that she’ll have a new valve without needing operation. It’s a much simpler procedure with a quicker recovery time,” explained Dr. Farivar. “We were committed to doing anything possible to make sure we wouldn’t affect her chances of having a baby. We were able to offer her the latest advancements in cardiac medicine without having a big procedure done and of course, keep her heart healthy at the same time,” explained Dr. Ergle.
After a team effort at Westside Hospital, Ashley’s procedure was complete. She was monitored overnight and walked out of the hospital the next morning. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
“In the past, pregnancy was really scary for me because I was going through open heart surgery and all these other things. When the echo came back and they said something wasn’t right, it was really scary. However, when I met Dr. Ergle, I immediately felt calmer. I have trusted everything that Dr. Ergle has said from day one. He is the most down to earth doctor I’ve ever met. He doesn’t make you want to call him doctor, because he makes you feel like you’re family. When I shared my concern about having a baby in the future, he was just so comforting. When other doctors have made me feel like I was reaching a dead end, he opened the road for me. He always let me decide what I wanted to do and was determined to give me various options. That’s when I met Dr. Farivar, a cardiovascular surgeon who told me about this new minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Farivar eased my concerns and told me that I’d still be able to get pregnant. I was in shock and thought to myself, has medicine really gotten this far? It was incredible. I was a little anxious prior to the procedure because I didn’t know if something would go wrong. But when I woke up and I was all put together with very minimal pain, it was such a relief. I have absolutely zero complaints about Dr. Ergle, Dr. Farivar and the entire team at Westside Hospital. This was definitely an experience of a lifetime and it feels like I’m getting a second chance at life.” – Ashley Curtis, 35-year-old valve-in-valve TAVR recipient and patient at Westside Hospital.
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