New alternative to open-heart surgery allows patients faster recovery

The popular band is made up of the sons of Roberto Zenteno, a Mexican trumpet player. One member of the band, Ernie, recently underwent heart surgery.

Any fans of salsa or Spanish music might be familiar with the Zenteno spirit.

The popular band is made up of the sons of Roberto Zenteno, a Mexican trumpet player.

One member of the band, Ernie, recently underwent heart surgery.

It’s been less than two weeks since he had a valve replaced in his heart, which is typically something with a long recovery time but, thanks to a less invasive alternative to open-heart surgery, he’s almost totally back to normal.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation or TAVI is a procedure where surgeons, like interventional cardiologist Hani Jneid from Ben Taub Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, use a catheter inserted near the groin at the artery to reach the damaged valve.

“In patients with severe blockage of the aortic valve, called severe aortic stenosis, it improves their quality of life,” Jneid said. “Makes them feel better, enjoy life better, walk better, feel less short of breath and also it does improve their survival.”

He explained Ernie benefits from this procedure, saying, “his valve area was so narrowed, he was unable to pump blood from the heart to the rest of the body because of the severely stenotic aortic valve.”

Without surgery, patients can die.

Also, this is expected to help those patients who might not be able to withstand a major surgery qualify for the life-saving procedure.

Jneid said this is now the gold standard for patients over 80.

Ernie was fortunate enough to go home the day after his surgery. He’s already back to walking dogs, playing his band, and performing in front of live audiences.

Zenteno Spirit plays at Miller Outdoor Theatre Saturday evening at 6:30, followed by the movie Coco.