TAVR surgery ‘life saver’ for Gregory Stroda and the Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch Photo and story by Aaron Anders Gregory Stroda...

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TAVR surgery ‘life saver’ for Gregory Stroda and the Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch

Photo and story by Aaron Anders

Gregory Stroda, of rural Chapman, is currently preparing for his busy season at the Moose Creek Pumpkin patch after having a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) operation in the cardiac catheterization lab at the Salina Regional Health Center. Stroda and his wife Theresa have owned the pumpkin patch for nine years and will have over 2,000 fall mums for sale this season.

TAVR is a minimally invasive heart procedure that replaces a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly (aortic valve stenosis). Before TAVR was available, treatment options were limited to temporarily improving valve function with medication or replacing the diseased valve in in open-heart surgery.

Stroda had emergency open-heart surgery in January 2016 for a heart murmur. During his follow up appointment Cardiologist David Battin, MD, told Stroda he had a moderate stenosis on his aortic valve, which overtime would get worse.

Last January Stroda began to really feel bad. The stenosis, which is like arthritis, was beginning to shut down his aortic valve. “The best way I can explain it is it is like pinching a water hose so it would not let the blood go out and it puts a lot of pressure on your heart,” says Stroda.

Stroda met with the TAVR team consisting of cardiologist David Battin, MD, and Cardiothoracic surgeons Richard Toon, MD and Elias Quintos, MD. It was determined after a series of test that Stroda would be a good candidate for the surgery. Stroda was surprised to find out the operation could be done at the Salina Regional Health Center.

The procedure took less than two hours. Stroda claims he felt nothing when he woke up after surgery other than being a little sore in the groin where the incision was made.

“They have a great staff there in the ICU. I went home that next day and was watering pumpkins and mums the following day after coming back home,” said Stroda. "“I cannot thank the staff, the hospital the whole cardiac team enough. It was the finest operations that I have ever been involved with, these people were totally professional."

The first TAVR procedure was performed at the Salina Regional Health Center in January of this year and since then, the program has been a success in helping many patients avoid having to undergo open-heart surgery or having to travel long distances to get this done at larger hospitals. For more information or to request a consultation, please call 785-452-6772.

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Salina Regional Health Center