BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Since it's debut in Bay County, about 30 patients have a new lease on life.
The new TAVR procedure is not only life-changing, it's keeping them from traveling hundreds of miles from home.
"It's awesome, it really is," said Morris Denman. He was one of the first patients to undergo one of the newest procedures at Bay Medical Sacred Heart.
It's called TAVR, which stands for Trans-Catheter Aortic Valve replacement.
"It's a new method to replace their aortic valve that's become severely calcified, " said Dr. Amir Haghighat.
It's a minimally invasive, life-saving procedure, where doctors use a small incision in the groin and a catheter to replace the failing valve.
"Instead of cracking open the chest, and doing the traditional the normal sternotomy that surgery entails, we can replace the aortic valve through the femoral artery, which is through the leg or the arm."
Historically, Bay Medical Sacred Heart had to send patients who needed a new aortic valve and couldn't withstand open heart surgery, to other hospitals, hundreds of miles away. This made pre-op and post op appointments even more of an inconvenience.
"Now you can get this all done here at home," said Dr. Haghighat. "Valve clinic on Monday, we do our TAVR on Wednesday, and its a wonderful thing with everyone involved."
He said getting this procedure to Bay County was five years in the making and it takes a team effort to make it so successful.