ST. CLOUD -- The CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center has been working on some new technology that will limit the risks of open heart surgery in elderly patients.

The Heart Center performed its first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) just over a year ago. The procedure that no longer requires open heart surgery.

Dr. Thom Dahle is a Cardiologist at the Heart Center. He says the procedure replaces the old valve with a collapsible valve in a stent.

"The procedure is down by going through a small incision in the groin through the femoral artery in the leg, and taking our catheters up to the heart and replacing the valve that way," says Dolley.

Clarence Enneking had the procedure done back in February. He says before he couldn't go anywhere without the use of oxygen, but now that's not the case.

"Within two days I didn't use oxygen again and I'm almost back to normal just a little slower then before, but I'm doing well," says Enneking.

Dolley says by performing the surgery this way it also cuts down on the recovery time.

"The whole procedure is about 40 minutes, patients are usually awake the same day and walking around the next day," says Dolley.

Enneking is now able to do things he loves like wood working, and playing golf.

The hospital has performed about 50 of these procedures since last June.


Clarence Enneking talks about his heart procedure he had in February. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON New)