Bingo Irene, 100, gets new heart valve in less invasive technique, TAVR

February 26, 2013 9:00:10 AM PST
At 100 years old, Irene Vicich is still as sharp as a tack, and thanks to a new heart surgery, she's looking forward to several more years as a healthy and active senior.

Vicich, who goes by "Bingo Irene" at church, had a heart attack in August. Doctors told her she needed an aortic valve replacement, or she would only have weeks to live. She decided to go for the surgery, and instead of open heart surgery, her doctors recommended a newer, less invasive technique: trans-catheter aortic valve replacement [TAVR].

Doctor Nouri Al-Khaled at Christ Medical Center fed a catheter through a groin artery to Vicich's heart. He said someday this procedure may be used for any patient who needs a heart valve replacement because it's an easier recovery and has less risk of complications.

One week later, Bingo Irene is back home, and ready to go out dancing to celebrate her 101st birthday.