LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's a common problem in seniors: the heart valve that opens up to let blood flow out from the heart gets narrow, causing light-headedness, shortness of breath and chest pain.
Traditionally, it takes open heart surgery to replace that valve.
But in recent years, there is another treatment option to fix that heart valve which is a lot easier on the body, since it avoids open heart surgery.
Dr. Scott Shurmur, a cardiologist and Texas Tech Physician says, "Instead of cutting out the old valve and sewing in a new one, we actually, simply place the valve inside the old one, expand a balloon and the valve stays there, sticks there as if the valve were very effectively replacing it without having to go through all that comes with major surgery."
Dr. Shurmur says this procedure is widely available, but a lot of people don't know it is an option, particularly for those who are older, even in their 80s and are too frail for the traditional open heart surgery.