“We are able to perform it with just a poke in the groin in more than 95 percent of our patients, which is far greater than any other program,” Soffer said. “Most of our patients are awake with minimal sedation, and we are able to keep them comfortable throughout the procedure. It provides a quicker recovery and allows us to take care of higher-risk patients.”
Immediately after the TAVR, Lukas had a pacemaker implanted to further improve blood flow to his heart. Despite having two procedures, he was able to walk out of the hospital the next day.
“My recovery this time around was nothing like when I had open-heart surgery,” Lukas said. “Ten years ago, I was down for more than a month, but with this procedure, I was back on my feet after two nights.”
Lukas was even able to speak at the 2017 Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in San Francisco, which serves as a major fundraiser for the Okapi Conservation Project.
“It is through education that we are able to save endangered wildlife in important places around the world,” Lukas said. “It is how we fight the exploitation mentality and help people on the ground level understand.”