'It's all thanks to Ascension Sacred Heart' says Pensacola man whose health is back on track following TAVR procedure

Ascension Sacred Heart has earned David’s trust over the years. From primary care to orthopedics to cardiology, he says he has confidence in his care team. When he felt chest pain, fatigue and dizziness, he says he knew where to turn.

After undergoing a quadruple bypass 15 years ago, David was closely monitored by Ascension Sacred Heart cardiologist Dr. Paul Tamburro. When his condition prevented him from sleeping well, walking up a flight of stairs and dancing with his wife, Dr. Tamburro suggested it was time to consider a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure to help restore blood flow to his heart and help minimize his symptoms.

“I learned to compensate for my condition over the years,” David said. “Thank goodness Dr. Tamburro made the call when necessary.”

The TAVR procedure helps patients avoid open-heart surgery to replace a thickened aortic valve that can't fully open. During the procedure, an interventional cardiologist makes two small incisions in the groin and inserts a new valve within the patient's damaged aortic valve. A team of cardiovascular specialists works together during the procedure. Patients typically don’t need general anesthesia, and most go home the next day, with shorter recovery time than open-heart surgery.

David, the heart team’s 300th TAVR patient, said he’s a testament to the improved quantity and quality of life possible with the minimally invasive procedure. “I went in on a Saturday afternoon and I was home by lunch the next day. After the procedure, I just had a small incision with a bandage.”

As one of only four Florida hospital systems recognized by PINC AI as a top 50 cardiovascular hospital in the country, patients receive leading heart care. Successful procedure outcomes require an experienced medical and support team working at a medical center that provides comprehensive care and can manage any possible complications or advanced care needs. Dr. Mark Grise, an interventional cardiologist at Ascension Sacred Heart, said the team doesn’t measure their success by numbers, but by the improved quality of life of their patients.

“We treated our first patient in 2016, and since then, we’ve treated 360 patients with excellent outcomes,” Dr. Grise said. “It’s exciting for us to see how well our patients are doing when they return for their follow-up appointments.”

Not long after his procedure, David returned to activities like walking at the park, tending to his yard and dancing with his wife, Beverly. “I tell everybody that I’m good for another 15 years, and it’s all thanks to Ascension Sacred Heart,” he said.

Your heart deserves personalized attention from a cardiologist and care team that delivers the right care as your needs change. To find a heart specialist and schedule a first consultation or second opinion, visit ascension.org/PensacolaHeart