Nebraska Heart Institute Offers New Heart Valve Procedure

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"I feel like a brand new person," said Roy Haines who received a Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement procedure from Nebraska Heart Institute.

"He was one of the first patients in the country to receive the procedure," said Dr. James Wudel from Nebraska Heart Institute.

Roy is feeling a whole lot better after his TAVR procedure. It has saved and extended lives at only 40 hospitals nationwide. One of them is Nebraska Heart Institute. It is the only facility in a four state area to do the procedure which makes life a lot more enjoyable for people like Roy who couldn't have handles open heart surgery.

"I think it will also allow many more patients to undergo therapy who have this problem who otherwise could not have it done safely," said Dr. Wudel.

Roy turns 76 next week. Since his procedure he says life is more enjoyable. "I feel like I could just run a race. Honest to goodness I feel so good."

"This is a disease that some people had no options. They really have to sit and watch a very dismal outcome. So it's been gratifying to be able to give them some hope," said Dr. Martin.

The hope comes from replacing the valve without opening up the chest cavity and without going through the groin which was a procedure that had been done for about four years.

"We do it through a small incision right through the chest and it's placed directly into the ventricle and then the valve is placed and it's a very short distance. It does make the procedure much easier and up until a little over a month ago it was not available," said Dr. Wudel.

Now it is available for patients in the Midwest. They can receive the procedure in Lincoln. The closest facility to Lincoln is the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.