“ I NOT ICED
I was really losing my stamina,” says
Throughout her 84 years, Gladys had always been
active, but over a few months she found herself tired
all the time. “My balance was unsteady, and I began to
feel dizzy,” she says. “It was very frustrating.”
A medical evaluation revealed bad news: Gladys
was suffering from severe aortic stenosis, a narrowing
of one of the heart’s valves, which obstructs blood
flow and forces the heart to work harder. Aortic
stenosis is common, affecting 1.5 million Americans.
One in 3 cases becomes severe enough to require
“Aortic stenosis becomes more common as we
age,” says PeaceHealth Cardiologist Maen Nusair,
MD. “Until recently, the only treatment was open-
heart surgery and valve replacement. That is a major
operation and is often high-risk for elderly patients.”
Because there is no drug treatment for aortic
stenosis, older patients unable to tolerate open-
heart surgery have a high risk of mortality from the
disease. Within two years of the onset of symptoms,
the survival rate of untreated patients is just
Fortunately, a newly approved heart
valve implant device is now available
in Clark County. Transcatheter aortic
valve replacement (TAVR) allows
a cardiologist to insert a new heart
valve through the patient’s femoral
artery, eliminating the need for
open-heart surgery. Dr. Nusair is one
of the first cardiologists in southwest
Washington to offer TAVR. “This
procedure is a game changer,” he says.
With TAVR, patients typically spend
just two days in the hospital, before resuming regular
Gladys was amazed with the rapid, dramatic
improvement in her health after TAVR.
“When I took my first walk, I could stride briskly
down the hall instead of leaning over, shuffling,” she
says. “I’m sleeping better, my energy level is higher,
and I feel great! There is no question this has worked.
“I’ve been telling everyone about it,” she continues.
“I want all my friends to know. Older people don’t
have to accept being out of breath and dizzy all the
time. There are options!”
P A T I E N T P R O F I L E
common heart ailment
Maen Nusair, MD
PeaceHealth Medical Group–
200 NE Mother Joseph Place,
Keep your beat.peacehealth.org/heart
Saturday, Feb. 18
A simple screening can detect
heart conditions such as
the most common cause of
sudden death in athletes.
Online registration is required atpeacehealth.org/southwest/heart .
See page 6 for more details.
For more information about TAVR, visitpeacehealth.org/southwest/heart/tavr
or call PeaceHealth Medical Group
Cardiology Clinic at
PO Box 1600
Vancouver, WA 98668
Permit No. 2901
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