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3rd Annual Controversies in Geriatric Medicine program

The Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society – Western Division welcomed over 50 attendees at the 3rd annual Controversies in Geriatric Medicine program held June 22nd at the Herberman Conference Center, Pittsburgh, PA. The program was made possible with sponsorship from: Abbott Nutrition, Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh, AHN Healthcare@Home, Gilead, Medtronic Inc., navihealth (a Cardinal Health Company), Optum, and Sanofi.

“Who Might Benefit from TAVR for Aortic Stenosis?” presented the case of a 91-year old woman with critical aortic stenosis who is now becoming symptomatic. She has mild cognitive and functional impairments and is largely homebound, but enjoys her life and her family and is interested in continuing her present status. The presentation focused on would she be a candidate for a transaortic valve replacement (TAVR)?

Moderator for the evening was PAGS-WD President, Fred Rubin, MD. Leading the panel discussion were Rachel Jantea, MD, geriatric medicine fellow, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Pittsburgh and John Schindler, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Cardiologist, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute; Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Jantea provided an overview of the case and engaged the audience with questions for their consideration during her lecture. She also updated the audience on the outcome and status of the patient. Dr. Schindler’s presentation focused on TAVR and included an overview of the minimally invasive procedure, which repairs the aortic valve in patients with severe aortic stenosis. The treatment greatly improves the quality of life for those who suffer from aortic stenosis, which affects as many as 500,000 people in the U.S. The condition can interfere with daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. Previously, a patient’s only option was to have open-heart surgery to replace the aortic valve, but the procedure often was deemed too risky for elderly patients, who are most prone to the condition. In his comments, Dr. Schindler addressed that “open heart surgery is not the ideal option for every patient. TAVR provides an additional aortic valve replacement option for high-risk patients who would benefit from a less-invasive procedure.” A lively discussion from panelists and audience members concluded the presentation.

Thank you to our event sponsors!

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