The Best Fit

Shelly Haberman
Barb Teletzke

Barb Teletzke, 71, of Waupun, has taken all the right steps in caring for her heart, including regular visits and monitoring by several members of the Dale Michels Center for Heart Care team for many years, including Richard Santa-Cruz, MD, interventional cardiologist, Kimberly Udlis, APNP, electrophysiology, and James Roth, MD, electrophysiologist.

It was during these visits that the team was able to quickly address the development of another heart-related condition, known as Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) - an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related diseases.

In 2019, Barb’s doctors determined that her aortic valve needed to be replaced.

“I began experiencing shortness of breath,” Barb recalls. “It happened whenever I was walking or doing something strenuous.”

Barb turned to Drs. Santa-Cruz and R. Eric Lilly, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin who serves patients in Fond du Lac for treatment.

Rather than undergoing the traditional open-heart surgery, Barb was able to have her valve replaced using a minimally-invasive surgical option now offered at Agnesian HealthCare called TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement).

“TAVR is a consideration for all patients with severe narrowing of the aortic valve, also known as aortic valve stenosis,” according to Dr. Santa-Cruz. “Barb opted for TAVR as it was a less invasive option with a shorter recovery time due to her underlying medical conditions.”

“I am so thankful for the doctors who did the surgery,” Barb says. “At first, I thought I’d have to go to a larger city to have it, but I was pleasantly surprised I could have it done here in my backyard.”

To learn more about TAVR, visit agnesian.com/TAVR.

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