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Southeast Health Performs 350th Non-Surgical Aortic Heart Valve Procedure

DOTHAN, Ala. –(WDnews) Southeast Health recently celebrated a significant milestone, successfully completing its 350th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure. The historic procedure took place on Thursday, May 9, in the Cath Lab, performed by Dr. Peter Rao, a cardiologist, and Dr. Adam Eppler, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Southeast Health’s TAVR program began in 2017 as part of an effort to provide advanced structural heart treatments to the community. The multidisciplinary TAVR team features cardiologists Dr. Peter Rao and Dr. Andreas Muench, alongside cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Steven F. Johnson and Dr. Adam Eppler. The program is coordinated by Aubree C. McKnight, MSN, CRNP.

TAVR is a minimally invasive option for patients at high risk from traditional valve replacement surgery. During the procedure, an interventional cardiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon insert an artificial aortic valve via catheterization, bypassing the need for open-heart surgery. This technique is particularly beneficial for patients with aortic stenosis, a condition where the aortic valve does not open properly, restricting blood flow.

Patients undergoing TAVR experience numerous benefits, including shorter recovery times, less pain, reduced hospital stays, and a potentially life-saving improvement in quality of life.

For more details on TAVR, visit [southeasthealth.org](http://southeasthealth.org) or call the Structural Heart Clinic at 334-944-4278 (HART). The TAVR program has been supported by over $200,000 in donations to the Southeast Health Foundation. To contribute or learn more, contact the Foundation at 334-673-4150.