Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Premiered Wednesday, February 20 at 9 p.m.

Eight, Arizona PBS brings the operating room into viewer living rooms for the launch of its new program, The Latest Procedure: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. The show aired Wednesday, February 20 at 9 p.m.

In The Latest Procedure: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, viewers go inside the OR with Arizona's own Dr. David Rizik for an up-close step-by-step tutorial of this catheter-based approach, also known as TAVR. The new valve is carried inside a catheter inserted into the artery in the patient's thigh or groin through a small incision, then threaded by a wire through the patient's vascular network to the heart. There, the valve is deployed in the passageway between the heart's left ventricle, or pumping chamber, and the aorta. Before the new valve is inserted, Dr. Rizik uses a balloon-catheter to crush the diseased valve to the side.


In the past, cardiac operations required saws, scalpels and surgical chest spreaders to allow the surgeon to see directly into the chest cavity. Today, however, cardiologists like Dr. Rizik use 3D imaging technology in order to visualize the heart chambers and blood vessels from the inside.

"During the procedure, the transcatheter heart valve is compressed into the end of a thin tube-like catheter," Dr. Rizik explained. "The valve is made of bovine or cow tissue and polyester supported with a stainless-steel mesh frame. Once released from the catheter, the heart valve is expanded with a balloon and immediately becomes functional."

He added that with approximately 2-7 percent of individuals over the age of 65 afflicted with inoperable aortic stenosis, and an aging population, TAVR offers a very promising solution. Dr. Rizik is Medical Director of Scottsdale Healthcare at Shea and Thompson Peak and Director of Interventional Cardiology for Scottsdale Healthcare's medical centers and hospitals.

Viewers also will see innerspace, 3D medical images from inside the patient's body needed to perform complex catheterization and surgical procedures. Zooming out, they watch the surgeon's play-by-play account of the surgery. Those tuning in also will meet the patient, and follow up with her the next day, as well as tour the Hybrid OR/Endovascular Lab and see a demonstration of surgical tools.

"Our goal of The Latest Procedure is to inform individuals about healthy living practices, medical discoveries, diagnoses and treatments to foster better health," said Eight's General Manager Kelly McCullough.

The multimedia project encourages patients to become smarter healthcare consumers by providing integrated and interactive content via television programs, a robust website, social media and educational outreach efforts. Eight is co-producing The Latest Procedure: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement with VAS Communications/HiDefMD and Even Keel Productions, Inc. The Maricopa County Medical Society serves as a content advisor. Funding for the new series is being made possible by The Parsons Foundation and the Friends of Eight.

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource.  For over 51 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of non-commercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 86 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit azpbs.org. Eight is a member-supported service and the public media enterprise of Arizona State University.

Tune in for better health!


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