You can’t always get what you want, but thanks to a new minimally invasive heart valve procedure, called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), cardiac patients can get what they need.

The Rolling Stones frontman, Mick Jagger, recently underwent this procedure to address the diseased aortic valve in his heart. Aside from treating rock stars, TAVR is also able to help many cardiac patients who wouldn’t normally be candidates for open heart surgery.

Instead, TAVR takes an alternative route, offering aortic valve disease patients the option to have their aortic valve replaced via catheter, making it a less invasive procedure.

“We are grateful for this breakthrough technology, which allows us to help people, who we couldn’t help before. Recovery is also much faster, usually two or three days, and patients are able to resume normal activities sooner than with traditional open heart surgery. I have had TAVR patients tell me they feel better right away, are steadier on their feet and experience less shortness of breath.”

Stephen Downing, MD

Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Heart Center at Mercy Hospital

Why Was Mick Jagger a Good Candidate for TAVR?

Fans of The Rolling Stones were anxious to hear that the band’s North American tour was postponed due to Mick Jagger’s health issues. The 75-year-old lead singer successfully underwent the TAVR procedure and was said to be recovering and in good health the next day.

According to Dr. Stephen Downing, MD, Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and Medical Director of Mercy’s TAVR program, these are some of the traits that could have made Mick Jagger a successful candidate for this procedure:

  • His age. Risk factor for aortic valve disease increases with age, especially for patients who are over 75 years. Born in 1943, the legendary rocker celebrated his 75th birthday in 2018.
  • A history of smoking. Though Mick Jagger’s lifestyle habits have certainly changed since The Rolling Stones hit the mainstream, use of tobacco products can be a direct cause of heart disease diagnosis. The damage and buildup in your blood vessels can elevate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Leads an active lifestyle. Compared to other cardiac procedures, TAVR requires a shorter length of inpatient care, as well as a faster recovery timeline to return to daily activities. Nothing is guaranteed, but the reports promising that Mick Jagger would be back on the road in July weren’t unrealistic.

Living with Aortic Heart Disease

The aortic valve essentially acts as a swinging exit door that allows oxygen-rich blood to be pumped from the heart into the rest of the human body. There are two types of aortic valve disease that disrupt proper function: aortic valve stenosis, which narrows the valve’s opening thereby reducing its mobility, and aortic valve regurgitation, which changes the direction of the blood flow.

Both conditions make your heart work harder, which left untreated overtime can lead to serious health problems and heart failure. Aortic heart disease can be a chronic condition, or result from calcium buildup throughout your life.

Treatment for heart disease and its related symptoms can be complex and may need to involve more than one cardiac specialist. That’s why our skilled team of cardiologists at the Heart Center at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo develops daily comprehensive care plans for their patients.

If you or someone you love is living with aortic heart disease, talk to your cardiologist about whether TAVR is right for you.

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113