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Joseph W Making a Strong Comeback After TAVR Procedure

“Years ago, my sister had to have open heart surgery for a similar issue and it was a long and difficult recovery,” said Joseph. “My family was amazed at how different my recovery was immediately following the procedure. I was home the next day.”

Joseph Wares credits the TAVR procedure (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) for improving his overall quality of life.

At the age of 67, Joseph Wares did not think much of the heart murmur that he has had since birth until it began to affect his quality of life. Barely able to walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for breath, Joe attributed his shortness of breath to age or the residual effects of a previous surgery.

A referral to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center revealed a severe problem with his aortic valve. Not only was his valve very narrowed, making it harder for his heart to pump blood to the rest of his body, but instead of having three leaflets, like most aortic valves, Joseph only had two.

In need of an immediate remedy, Joseph enrolled in a clinical trial at Newark Beth Israel that offered Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) to patients like Joseph who were born with bicuspid aortic valves as part of the Partner 3 Bicuspid Registry.

The TAVR procedure is a less invasive option than open heart surgery, where physicians use a catheter to implant a new valve within the diseased one rather than opening the chest cavity and replacing it completely. Newark Beth Israel participates in more clinical research trials than any other cardiac program in New Jersey. Joseph was one of 75 people enrolled in the Partner 3 Bicuspid Registry, sponsored by Edwards Lifesciences.

“Years ago, my sister had to have open heart surgery for a similar issue and it was a long and difficult recovery,” said Joseph. “My family was amazed at how different my recovery was immediately following the procedure. I was home the next day.”

Prior to the TAVR procedure, the medical staff at Newark Beth Israel timed Joseph walking down the hall which included the need for frequent stops. After the procedure, Joseph’s timed walk showed significant improvements and he was even able to skip a little. The nursing staff was amazed at the difference in just one day.

The TAVR procedure has given Joseph, who is retired but remains active with a part-time job, a new perspective on life, both physically and mentally.