The TAVR procedure will be performed in the new Hybrid OR at St. Luke’s by cardiothoracic surgeon Stephen Olenchock, DO, Section Chief, Cardiovascular Surgery, St. Luke’s University Health Network. This leading-edge procedure is approved for patients who are not candidates for open heart surgery procedures, because the risk of an open heart procedure would be too great. Earlier this year, St. Luke’s became one of the first institutions in the country to offer TAVR with the Edwards Sapien valve due to exceptional outcomes and a multidisciplinary team approach.

TAVR is an alternative to open heart surgery for valve replacement in which a catheter is guided through a small incision in the groin and then advanced through the femoral artery. The valve is deployed via catheter. TAVR received FDA approved in November 2011. This procedure is approved for patients who are not candidates for open heart surgery procedures, because the risk of an open heart procedure would be too great. To qualify for TAVR, patients cannot have severe buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Benefits of TAVR include a shorter hospital stay; less anesthesia; less risk of infection; and a faster recovery. Patients avoid a cardiopulmonary bypass, or the use of the heart/lung machine, since the heart continues to beat during the procedure. With the new valve in place, blood flow occurs immediately.

A history of introducing medical innovations

St. Luke’s University Health Network is a show site for GE Healthcare and continues to be a regional leader in offering advanced medical technologies and innovations. In 2002, St. Luke’s was first in the world to offer the GE Innova 4100 large-format digital flat panel detector, providing detailed, real-time fluoroscopic images of human anatomy for radiological procedures. For the past 10 years, the technology has helped physicians treat a wide variety of medical disorders, including peripheral vascular, cardiovascular and neurological diseases and uterine fibroids, without major surgery.

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