Mick Jagger's heart surgery spotlights 'miracle procedure' economics

Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger reportedly completed surgery to replace a valve in his heart at a New York City hospital and is now recovering.

The 75-year-old “Satisfaction” singer was in great health and could be released from the hospital within the week, Billboard reported, citing sources. Jagger may soon be able to kick-off the band’s ‘No Filter’ tour which was postponed so Jagger could receive “medical treatment” according to band’s Twitter feed. Jagger, himself, Tweeted that he was on the mend Friday afternoon.

The rocker is not alone. About 8 million Americans suffer from heart-valve diseases at any given time, with nearly 6 million diagnosed annually, according to the American Heart Association.

Jagger’s condition and treatment has put the spotlight on the innovation in repairing a valve, which “up until this century required extensive open heart surgery”, as well as on the economics of the minimally invasive procedure, according to Marc Siegel MD Fox News Medical Correspondent. Professor of medicine NYU Langone Health.

Siegel reviewed the procedure with FOX Business and the numbers behind it.

Innovation in valve treatment:

Beginning in 2002 in France, a new process was developed where a metal mesh lined and covered with either pig or cow tissue was floated up through a catheter in the femoral artery in the groin and seated on the damaged valve, restoring normal function. This process is known as a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement or TAVR. More recently, a similar procedure was also developed to replace the mitral valve.

Benefits of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement [TAVR]:

"The TAVR has become so successful and reliable usually with minimal side effects, that it is now taking the place of the more traditional and invasive surgery. This is truly a miracle of modern medical science and a testament to our bioengineering capacities. It will save millions who would otherwise have died from failing heart valves or complications of the surgery” says Siegel.

The Cost:

The average, unadjusted, total in-patient hospital cost for TAVR was $60,063 compared to $60,319 for SAVR [surgical aortic valve replacement]. Medicaid and Medicare cover TAVR for the most severe patients.

By comparison a heart bypass costs an average of $117,094, per the American Heart Association and can vary by state.


 Valve Procedures on the rise:

The number of TAVR procedures increased from 1,531 in 2012 to 5,567 in 2015, a jump of 263 percent. The increase is due to several factors including increased availability, more doctors trained in the procedure, few side effects combined with very successful outcomes, says Siegel.

 What’s Next?   

The next step is to perfect the catheter approach for all 4 valves and make it the initial approach to replacing faulty valves across the board. This could happen over the next few years estimates Siegel.