1,000 Mended Hearts: NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Marks Heart-Valve Replacement Milestone

Pioneered by NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia experts, minimally invasive procedure offers new hope for patients unable to undergo open-heart surgery

Mar 24, 2014


NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center marked a milestone in cardiac care after completing its 1,000th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a procedure for patients who need a new heart valve but are too sick to undergo open-heart surgery.

TAVR is used for patients with aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve, which prevents blood from flowing properly. Roughly 5 percent of people over the age of 75 will experience aortic stenosis, and many require a heart valve replacement. Prior to the advent of TAVR, the only treatment for severe aortic stenosis was open-heart surgery—yet many of those same patients would not survive this surgery.

"Before we had TAVR, many of our patients had no clinical options to treat their aortic stenosis, a potentially fatal condition," says Dr. Susheel K. Kodali, co-director of the Heart Valve Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. "As of today, we have been able to treat more than 1,000 patients with exceptional outcomes, thanks to this lifesaving procedure."

In the TAVR procedure, a replacement heart valve is inserted through the groin and advanced to the heart using a specially designed delivery catheter. With this technique, the aortic valve can be replaced without incisions and without stopping the heart. Patients may be discharged from the hospital within 48 hours. There is no surgical wound beyond the small puncture mark where the catheter was inserted.

The Heart Valve Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is the largest of its kind in the U.S. Nationally, close to 50 percent of doctors who perform TAVR were trained at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia.

"As a center, we are dedicated to offering less invasive, cutting-edge therapies to ensure the very best outcomes for our patients, and TAVR is a prime example of our innovative care," says Dr. Mathew R. Williams, co-director of the Heart Valve Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. "NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia played a pioneering role in the trials leading to FDA approval of TAVR, and we continue to be involved in numerous clinical trials for treating valvular heart disease."

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia conducted the clinical trial that led to FDA approval of the SAPIEN TAVR device in 2011 and performed the first procedure after its approval.

Dr. Martin Leon, director of the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Craig Smith, surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and professor and chair of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, led a team from NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia as part of the 26-center Placement of AoRTic TraNscathetER Valve (PARTNER) clinical research trial. The results, published in the October 21, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine, showed that TAVR can improve survival and quality of life of patients with severe aortic stenosis, compared with the standard therapy.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 1 in New York in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to the 1,000 TAVR procedures performed at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, more than 300 TAVR procedures have been performed at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit www.cumc.columbia.edu or www.columbiadoctors.org.

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