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Temple University Hospital Now Offering Minimally Invasive Option for Aortic Valve Replacement

December 5, 2013


Temple University Hospital is now offering transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for patients with critical aortic stenosis, a potentially deadly condition characterized by a narrowing of the aortic valve opening that does not allow normal blood flow. TAVR is a new option for patients who physicians have deemed inoperable or high-risk for traditional open-heart surgery.


"We performed our first two TAVR procedures on December 3 and both patients are doing very well," reported Grayson H. Wheatley, III, MD, FACS, Director of Aortic and Endovascular Surgery at Temple, one day after the procedures.


"We are pleased to now offer this less-invasive approach to valve replacement for patients who are high-risk for traditional surgery," explained Howard A. Cohen, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology and the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Temple University Hospital."Aortic valve replacement can help patients live longer and more comfortably, and we at Temple are happy to add TAVR to our rapidly expanding list of available treatment options."


The TAVR procedure is performed under general anesthesia in Temple's brand new hybrid operating room by a multidisciplinary team of cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses and other specialists. The "hybrid OR" combines the surgical and clinical capabilities of a traditional operating room and a cardiac catheterization lab.


The valve used in the TAVR procedure is made of a bovine heart valve which has been stitched inside of an expandable scaffold made of stainless steel. Once in place, the valve opens and closes to regulate blood flow.


The TAVR procedure is usually completed in a much shorter length of time than traditional open heart surgery. Because it is minimally invasive, patients who undergo the TAVR procedure generally recover in a matter of days vs. a months-long recovery for open surgery.


"Temple's team approach to TAVR and other corrective procedures enhances patient care and is a hallmark of the multidisciplinary approach used by physicians at Temple's Heart & Vascular Institute," said T. Sloane Guy, MD, MBA, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Temple. "Our goal is to provide patients with optimal individualized treatment plans and clinical outcomes that will result from a truly collaborative approach to care."


Learn more about TAVR at Temple University Hospital.