Mercy and IHC mark 100th TAVR procedure as growth continues

June 20, 2014

Eugene Goodman, 82, is a positive man with deep faith. Both traits helped him during 43 years of farming and raising a family with his wife Jean near Melbourne. They also came in handy when he had a heart attack requiring triple bypass surgery and later needed stents.

Recently Goodman found himself experiencing chest tightness and easily fatigued after walking short distances. His overall lack of energy meant bedtime was 6 p.m. A spell of light headedness sent him to physicians at Iowa Heart Center.

After consultation and examination with Iowa Heart Center cardiologist, Eric Martin, an echocardiogram confirmed Goodman’s aortic valve was mostly blocked. Dr. Martin referred Goodman to his partners in the Valve Clinic where he was told his valve could be replaced without open heart surgery. Goodman says he didn’t think twice about having the procedure.

Mercy and Iowa Heart Center began performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures as part of a national clinical research trial in 2011. The first procedure at Mercy was performed by Iowa Heart interventional cardiologist Dr. Atul Chawla.  TAVR is designed for patients who face a higher risk of having open heart surgery for aortic valve replacement. In a TAVR procedure, the specially designed replacement valve is inserted into a catheter through the groin which is threaded through an artery and then released inside the diseased aortic valve. Mercy is the only medical center in central Iowa to offer this technology to patients. Goodman became the 100th patient to receive the TAVR procedure at Mercy on June 19, 2014.

“Mr. Goodman had the classic signs of severe aortic stenosis,” said interventional cardiologist Dr. David McAllister who performed the procedure with assistance from Dr. Chawla, Bart Jenson, cardiothoracic surgeon, and Richard Marcus, cardiologist. “Once the new aortic valve was in place the blood flow was much improved. TAVR is one of the largest developments in the practice of cardiology since coronary angioplasty. It gives higher-risk patients an option previously not available to improve their quality of life.”

Goodman was out of bed less than 24-hours after the procedure and was walking the halls several times a day. “I could tell almost right away that I wasn’t as tired after walking,” said Goodman. “I didn’t feel the chest pressure and the need to stop. I’ve had friends checking up on me and I’m telling them, this is the way to go.”

Goodman’s two daughters said they could see he felt better. With more energy, Goodman plans to make up for time he lost to sleeping from the exhaustion. He and Jean have five grandchildren and soon to be eight great-grandchildren to spoil. “I didn’t think I’d have the procedure and go home in two days,” he said. “If you need this kind of care, I highly recommend it.”

The Iowa Heart Center Valve Clinic coordinates care for patients with complex valve disorders, so they have access to cardiologists, interventional cardiologists and surgeons in one convenient location at 411 Laurel, Suite 1225. For a referral contact Joan Henscheid at (515) 468-7748 or visit

About Iowa Heart Center

Iowa Heart Center, founded in 1970, is one of the nation’s premier cardiovascular medicine practices. With clinics and offices in Des Moines, Ames, Ankeny, Carroll, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Newton, and Ottumwa, Iowa Heart Center’s physicians and staff are committed to providing world-class heart care, research and prevention services to Iowa families.