Jodi Whitaker

By

College: Medicine

UK's First TAVR Patient Gets Health Boost for His 82nd Birthday

Published: Nov 5, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2012) - When he learned a valve in his heart needed to be replaced, 81-year-old Robert Kraus was totally against it. He was adamant doctors would not perform an open-chest procedure on him. Not at his age.

 

Fortunately for Kraus, he landed at the right place at just the right time and became the first patient at the University of Kentucky to receive a TAVR - a Transcatheter Aortic Ventricular Replacement device.

 

"One of the things having to do with having your chest opened - when you get to be my age, most of the people you know who have it done don't do very well," said Kraus who himself is a doctor, a psychiatrist at UK. "I've met a lot of guys who didn't do very well -- they wind up depressed or demented, and it took them a year or more to recuperate. So I was against it."

 

After learning of his patient's insistence against open-heart surgery, Dr. John Gurley presented Kraus with an alternative - the new minimally invasive TAVR procedure. When Gurley told Kraus that he would be a candidate for the first such procedure done at UK HealthCare, Kraus agreed to the surgery.

 

"He had no hesitation," Gurley said.

 

TAVR is the latest addition to UK’s comprehensive catheter-based structural heart program, which began offering balloon valvuloplasty in 1985.

 

In a healthy heart, the aortic valve is able to open wide, allowing the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the body.

 

In aortic stenosis - Kraus' diagnosis - the valve is unable to open adequately, resulting in an obstruction of  blood flow from the heart chamber into the aorta. When the blood flow is obstructed, less oxygen is able to flow through, and patients can suffer from shortness of breath, chest pains or fainting episodes.

 

"I started to complain of dizziness and balance problems, and I felt nauseous all the time," Kraus said. "I used to be very energetic. I found myself spending a lot of time just sitting in a chair."

 

Kraus said he then began falling frequently - something he had never done before.

 

It was at that point that doctors pinpointed the problem to a valve in Kraus' heart.

"The doctors said I was just going to get worse if I did nothing," Kraus said. "When they told me about this new procedure, I said 'we'll do it'."

 

During the minimally invasive TAVR procedure, a prosthetic valve is implanted within the diseased aortic valve using a catheter inserted through the groin area. Once in place, a balloon is inflated to open the valve. Almost immediately, the new valve starts working in place of the diseased valve, resulting in improved blood flow.

 

Within hours of his surgery, Kraus was talking and making jokes with doctors.

 

The day after his surgery, Gurley walked into Kraus' room to find him reading a book on the psychiatric history of the Civil War.

 

"At that point, it was clear that his mental function was not compromised at all," Gurley said. "The operation was an outstanding success."

 

Kraus said part of the reason he had no hesitation in being the first to have this procedure at UK was because of the facility itself and his knowledge of the level of expertise at UK HealthCare.

 

"My feeling - my particular bias - is that the place to be is a place like this," Kraus said. "The people here are trained and have the skills necessary to do these sort of procedures. That's the advantage of a big academic medical center.

 

"The continuity of care here is unprecedented," Kraus added. "This team is dedicated to performing these types of procedures. That's all they do."

 

Following the surgery, Kraus spent five days in the hospital before returning home, where his rehabilitation included physical therapy. Just a few days after returning home, Kraus celebrated his 82nd birthday.

 

"This is my birthday present," Kraus said. "The new valve."

 

 

jodi.jpg
June
 
 
 
1
 
Wed
2
 
Thu
3
Postdoctoral Research Symposium (Hosted by Society of Postdoctoral Scholars)
Fri
4
 
Sat
5
 
Sun
6
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Mon
7
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
End of the Summer I 2016 Four-Week Intersession
Tue
8
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Wed
9
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
First Day of Classes of the Summer II 2016 Eight-Week Session
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
10
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
LINKS Center Summer Workshop on Social Network Analysis
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
11
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Family Day Workshop
Sat
12
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
13
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
14
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
15
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
16
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
17
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Film Screening: Artists on the Body
Fri
18
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
19
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
20
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
21
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
22
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
23
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Steve Zahn: One Night Only
Thu
24
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Fri
25
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sat
26
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Sun
27
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Mon
28
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Tue
29
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Wed
30
UK Writing Center Open for Summer Session 2 (June 9-August 4)
Music Education Summer Training
Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm
Lawrence Tarpey: Figures & Grounds
Eugene Meatyard & Duane Michals: Camera Drama
Thu
 
 

Repeats every day until Fri Jul 01 2016 .
Tue, 06/28/2016

Repeats every day until Sun Jul 31 2016 .
Tue, 06/28/2016

Repeats every day until Fri Jul 01 2016 .
Wed, 06/29/2016

Reset Page