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Heart Surgery for Mick Jagger? Here’s What It Might Mean.

April 02, 2019

Update: Mick Jagger underwent TAVR heart surgery this week to replace his aortic valve in a New York hospital. The Rolling Stones frontman is expected to join the band for the resumption of its No Filter tour this summer.

Only days after the Rolling Stones announced the postponement of the final leg of their No Filter tour, media reports now indicate  frontman Mick Jagger will have heart-valve replacement surgery later this week.

If it’s indeed a heart valve, Jagger might be suffering from severe aortic stenosis, a hardening and narrowing of the aortic valve. A valve that can’t open fully blocks blood flow to the aorta, the heart’s main artery, and the rest of the body. Historically, if this wear-and-tear condition required replacement of the aortic valve, doctors had only one option, open-heart surgery.

“This is one of the most serious cardiac valve disorders,” said Dr. Raymond McKay, co-director of the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute’s Structural Heart Disease Program at Hartford Hospital, speaking generically about aortic valve stenosis. “It causes death 50 percent of the time within two years and 80 percent of the time within five years if the aortic valve is not replaced.”

Related: Learn more about the four heart valves. Click here.

Doctors nationwide, including those at Hartford Hospital, have been evaluating a less invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, that does not require open-heart surgery. TAVR, originally developed to help patients with significant risk of complications, uses a stent to push the old valve out of the way and insert new valve in its place. Since that time, Hartford Hospital physicians have served as principle investigators in several national trials documenting the safety and efficacy of TAVR, leading to the FDA’s approval for the procedure in extreme-risk, high-risk and intermediate-risk patients.

Most recently, they participated in trials that have shown TAVR is also appropriate for low-risk patients with severe aortic valve stenosis. (The results were presented last month at the American College of Cardiology 2019 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.)

“The results of these trials will be earmarked as ground-breaking landmark trials for determining how aortic stenosis patients will be treated in the future,” said Dr. McKay. “About 80 percent of surgical aortic valve replacements in this country are currently being performed in low-risk patients. [These trials] showed that TAVR was not only as good as surgical aortic valve replacement but actually superior.”

Recovery time from TAVR is about a week. Open-heart surgery patients typically need a recovery period up to six weeks.

It’s also possible Jagger might need a new mitral valve, which controls blood flow from the heart’s left atrium to its left ventricle. Aortic valve stenosis, however, is the more common condition.

Rolling Stone, the magazine, and the Drudge Report reported the news about Jagger, 75, on April 9. The Drudge Report said the singer will have surgery April 12. Jagger responded with a statement on Twitter and Instagram that acknowledged the tour’s postponement and promised he “will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon as I can.”

The North American part of the tour was scheduled to start April 20 in Miami.

For more information on TAVR, patients should be referred to the Hartford Hospital valve coordinator at 860.899.8078. Or visit the Heart & Vascular Institute on the web, where you can find more information on TAVR by clicking here