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Eye on Health: Beacon cardiologists, TAVR procedure, help patient regain strength, independence

Dr. Adil Wani, Diana Miller and Dr. Walter Halloran.

Diana Miller, who just turned 80 years old, enjoys art, music and time with her family. She has faced medical challenges, including blindness and most recently, difficulty breathing.

“I was gasping for air when I walked to the mailbox,” Miller recalls.

Decades ago, her aortic stenosis, or calcification of the aortic valve, would have required open heart surgery. But not any more.

“I didn’t want to live like I was living, it was too much,” Miller says. “I lost my sight then I lost my ability to walk. I couldn’t get around. I was feeling so discouraged by that, so when I found out about (another) procedure, I wanted it.”

That procedure is called TAVR, or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, and it’s minimally invasive. She knew it would be the best way to take control of her life and regain some independence.

The decision was an easy one after meeting Dr. Adil Wani and Dr. Walter Halloran at Beacon. Miller remembers sitting down with Dr. Halloran and how kind he was discussing the procedure with her.

“He didn’t give me a bunch of printed information. He didn’t give me some plastic models, because I wouldn’t be able to see them anyway,” she says. “He just took my fingers in his hands and said, ‘This is what your valve is doing now, and this is what your valve is going to be doing.’

“That was such a kind way of explaining it to me.”

Miller is grateful she had another option that got her back on her feet faster. In fact, she was discharged the day after surgery.

She is grateful for TAVR and the Beacon cardiologists who have given her a new outlook on life. Beacon has performed over 1,000 structural heart procedures, including TAVR, MitraClip and Watchman.

“I think it comes down to understanding the patients themselves,” said Dr. Adil Wani, Beacon Medical Group Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists. “What we do here is let the patient know how this disease is going to affect them and make a decision together.”

Hear much more from Diana Miller in our WSBT Eye on Health video story below.

Be mindful of your heart health

Schedule today with a Beacon primary care physician to discuss important cardiovascular screening options. Click here to find a family doctor. Patients who need further care will be referred to a Beacon cardiologist. You can trust our Beacon specialists with your heart health needs.

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Media Relations Strategist. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.