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
November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fri, 11/21/2014

  • 05:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 29 2014 except Sat Sep 20 2014, Sat Oct 18 2014.
Sat, 11/22/2014

Sun, 11/23/2014

Mon, 11/24/2014

Tue, 11/25/2014

Reset Page