SAC Articles

A Life Saved Through Dr. Rahbar’s Aortic Stent Mastery

Embarking on a medical career is a transformative journey filled with challenges and defining moments. For Dr. Rahbar – Leading Vascular Surgeon serving the community of Camp Spring & Waldorf, the first year of medicine wasn’t just about learning; it became the year he saved a life and discovered an unyielding passion for healing. 


Join us on this narrative and technical expedition as we explore the intricacies of a life-altering medical procedure: placing a stent in the aorta.


What Is An Aortic Stenosis? 

Aortic stenosis is a cardiovascular condition marked by the narrowing or obstruction of the aortic valve, a crucial component regulating blood flow from the heart’s left ventricle to the aorta—the body’s primary artery. 

This narrowing impedes the natural blood flow, compelling the heart to exert greater effort to pump blood throughout the body. The principal cause often lies in the gradual buildup of calcium deposits on the valve’s leaflets, leading to thickening and narrowing over time.

Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis

Dr. Rahbar vividly recalls the day that reshaped his medical career. Mr. Roberts, a middle-aged patient, rushed into the emergency room, clutching his chest in excruciating pain.  The symptoms were unmistakable.

While aortic stenosis can remain asymptomatic for extended periods, as the condition advances, individuals may experience symptoms such as: 


Diagnosing Aortic Stenosis

Diagnosing aortic stenosis involves a combination of methods. A doctor may detect a heart murmur during a routine physical examination. An echocardiogram, which employs sound waves to create detailed images of the heart, aids in assessing the severity of valve narrowing. 

Medical management involves monitoring and addressing symptoms with medications. In severe cases, aortic valve replacement may be recommended. 

This replacement can be achieved through surgical means or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), where a new valve is inserted using a catheter.

By addressing the narrowed valve with the stent, the procedure aims to restore normal blood flow, alleviate symptoms, and prevent further complications associated with this cardiovascular condition.


Treatment of Aortic Stenosis

The severity of aortic stenosis is often graded as mild, moderate, or severe based on factors like pressure differences across the valve and the valve’s opening area.

In the emergency room, Dr. Rahbar conducted a series of diagnostic tests, unveiling a critical condition known as aortic stenosis. 

This narrowing of the aorta severely impedes blood flow, placing immense strain on the heart and jeopardizing life itself. The urgency of the situation called for immediate intervention.

With the diagnosis confirmed, Dr. Rahbar swiftly moved to perform a life-saving procedure—placing a stent in the aorta. This technical marvel involves threading a catheter through the blood vessels to the site of the blockage.

Once in position, the stent is expanded, pushing aside the narrowed arterial walls and restoring blood flow.


The Anatomy of a Stent

Dr. Rahbar explains the intricacies of the stent—a small, mesh-like tube often made of metal or fabric. When expanded, it acts as a scaffold, reinforcing the weakened or narrowed arterial walls. 


1. Main Tube or Graft:

Imagine the stent as a flexible tube, like a tiny, reinforced pipe. This tube is the main part of the stent, acting as a new pathway for blood in your aorta.


2. Metal Framework or Stent:

Inside the tube, there’s a framework made of tiny, strong metal wires. These wires help the stent keep its shape and provide support to your aorta.


3. Sealing Rings:

At both ends of the tube, there are special rings designed to seal tightly against your aorta. These rings create a strong barrier, preventing blood from leaking where it shouldn’t.


4. Delivery System:

The stent comes in a small delivery system, like a compact package. Doctors use this system to carefully place the stent in the right spot in your aorta.


5. Fabric or Covering:

The outer layer of the stent is like a smooth, protective covering. This covering keeps everything inside the stent stable and helps blood flow smoothly.


6. Attachment Points:

The stent has places where it securely attaches to the healthy parts of your aorta. These attachment points keep the stent in place, so it doesn’t move around.


7. Radiopaque Markers:

There are small markers in the stent that show up clearly on X-rays. These markers help your doctor see exactly where the stent is during procedures.


8. Optional Branches or Openings:

Some stents have special parts for branching vessels, like little doors or windows. If needed, these openings allow the stent to adapt to the unique shape of your aorta.

The stent’s placement ensures stable blood flow and guards against future complications. As the stent secured its place in Mr. Roberts’ aorta, the immediate relief on his face mirrored the satisfaction in Dr. Rahbar’s heart. 

The successful procedure not only saved a life but ignited a passion for cardiology that would shape Dr. Rahbar’s medical journey.


Risk Factors of Aortic Stenosis

The risk factors encompass: 


Dr. Rahbar delves into the technicalities, explaining that aortic stenosis is often caused by the buildup of calcium deposits on the valve, leading to narrowing. 

From that pivotal moment in the emergency room, Dr. Rahbar committed himself to a lifelong journey of healing. The experience of saving a life through aortic stent placement became the catalyst for his specialization in interventional cardiology.

Dr. Rahbar’s first year in medicine was not just a learning curve; it was an encounter with the profound impact a dedicated healthcare professional can have on a patient’s life. 

The intricacies of placing a stent in the aorta revealed a world where technical expertise converges with compassionate care. This narrative and technical exploration encapsulate the heart of the medical profession—a relentless pursuit of knowledge and an unwavering commitment to making a difference, one life at a time.


Get Your Aortic Stenosis Treated by Expert Surgeons in Camp Spring & Waldorf.        

If you need help with Aortic Stenosis, then contact Surgical Associates Chartered to discuss your options. Our doctors have administered countless successful treatments that will give you the relief you need. 

To see what can be done about your condition, Contact us today!