Freeman News

Freeman Goes Live on Twitter from TAVR Surgery

February 12, 2020

Surgical Team Offers Play by Play of Heart Valve Procedure

Joplin, Mo - Some patients with severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the valve in the aorta) can’t risk open-heart surgery. So, surgeons at Freeman take a different approach by inserting a replacement valve in the aorta through a vein in the upper thigh. This procedure, called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), requires a team of surgeons and is done under general anesthesia. The procedure takes between 45 minutes and two hours.

On Thursday, February 20, four-state residents and Freeman’s Twitter (@FreemanCEO) followers can learn how a TAVR procedure is done step by step through a live Twitter exchange straight from the operating room at the Freeman Heart and Vascular Institute. Cardiothoracic surgeon Ray Vetsch, MD, will collaborate with interventional cardiologists and echocardiologists, John Nicholas, MD, and Darwin Jeyaraj, MD, for the procedure.

Freeman is the first and only hospital in our area to provide TAVR, and in honor heart month, this life-saving procedure can be followed on social media February 20. Patient Brenda Newberry agreed to the hospital sharing what happens during such a procedure.

“I thought it would be helpful for others to know exactly what’s going on,” says Newberry. “I still have questions. When you’re in front of the doctors who are going to do the surgery, all those things you think about at home go out the window. This procedure would be in black and white and maybe answer questions for other people.”

About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2019, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2019. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit