Aortic stenosis affects more than 2.5 million people over the age of 75 in the United States, and that number is expected to grow as more people get older. Chiefly this condition is caused by a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. When the leaflets of the aortic valve become stiff, the valve cannot fully open or close like it should. As the opening becomes smaller, it is harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of your body, and can affect your health.

The Heart Valve Clinic at United Regional Health Care System opened to offer evaluation and treatment options for patients with aortic stenosis. Our specialized program uses a multi-disciplinary approach that focuses on patient-centered care. A team of cardiac specialists works collaboratively with the referring physician to ensure that each patient receives the most appropriate care for his or her unique case.

Current American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology guidelines suggest valve replacement for the majority of symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis. Without aortic valve replacement, severe aortic stenosis is potentially life-threatening.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Heart Valve Clinic patients who meet certain criteria have the option of the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, which offers patients in and around Wichita Falls a less invasive way to be treated for aortic stenosis, compared to traditional open surgery.

Watch the video below to learn more about TAVR:

Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO)

United Regional’s Structural Heart Clinic also includes the Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) procedure. The LAAO procedure aims to reduce stroke risk in patients with Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) who cannot take blood thinners or seek an alternative option.

A-Fib can increase the risk of stroke due to blood clot formation in the left atrial appendage, a small pouch in the upper left chamber of the heart. For individuals who cannot take blood thinners, an occlusion device can seal this appendage, preventing clots from migrating to the brain and causing a stroke. The LAAO procedure utilizes the Watchman™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device, performed under general anesthesia in United Regional’s Cath Lab. The procedure typically lasts one hour, followed by two to four hours of bed rest and an overnight hospital stay, with discharge usually the next day.

WATCHMAN FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device

Photo of the watchman Left Atrial Occlusion Device
Illustration of Watchman product implanted into a heart

Post-procedure care involves ongoing monitoring by the patient’s cardiologist. Initially, patients are prescribed blood thinners. After six weeks, an echocardiogram is performed to ensure the seal is complete. If confirmed, patients transition to an aspirin regimen.

Our comprehensive approach ensures thorough evaluation for procedure eligibility and dedicated post-procedure follow-up care. For more details or to refer a patient, please contact United Regional’s Structural Heart Clinic.

Structural Heart Clinic
at United Regional
1600 Eleventh Street
Wichita Falls, Texas 76301
Office: (940) 764-4225 
Fax:(940) 764-2821

Meet our Structural Heart Specialists

Darpan Kumar, MD - Cardiology - United Regional Health Care System

Darpan Kumar, MD

DSK Arrhythmia Services, PLLC
2200 9th Street
Wichita Falls, TX 76301

Chukwudi Obiagwu, MD

Advanced Heart and Vascular Medicine
1600 Brook Ave.
Wichita Falls, TX 76301