NYU Langone Medical Center this week became the first academic medical center in the United States to implant a newly FDA-approved heart valve for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in patients with severe aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis is a serious condition that occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows, obstructing blood flow from the heart to the aorta, which can severely weaken the heart muscle. If left untreated, it can lead to heart failure and even death.
Mathew R. Williams, MD, performed the TAVR procedure on July 20, 2015 and the patient was discharged to her home only two days later. Five additional patients have successfully undergone the procedure since last week.
“We’re excited to be the first center to use the new TAVR technology, which is the most advanced option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at high risk or unable to have open-heart surgery,” said Dr. Williams, a cardiac surgeon in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at NYU Langone, chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery, and director of Interventional Cardiology and Structural Heart. “As a leader in the field of cardiac surgery, we’re focused on creating the best outcomes for our patients using minimally invasive approaches. By becoming the first to use these technologies, we’re helping to advance the field by enabling patients have better outcomes, so they can ultimately live longer, more productive lives.”
Dr. Williams has performed close to 1,800 TAVR procedures, the most of any surgeon in the U.S. He is the lead primary investigator in the Evolut R Study and NYU Langone was the top site for Evolut R trial enrollment nationally.
The TAVR technology offers key advantages to the patient and the surgeon. Because the newly FDA-approved heart valve is recapturable and repositionable, accuracy in placement and control during the procedure is increased. In addition, the valve is smaller than previous generations of valves. The physician using the new TAVR technology can optimize the outcome of the procedure, which means that more complex patient cases can be treated, and many will leave the hospital more quickly.
“A main benefit of this type of procedure is the fact that it helps patients who aren’t surgical candidates or are at high risk for surgery,” says Dr. Williams. “After this procedure, in many cases patients can leave the hospital in one or two days, and most start to feel better immediately afterwards. The rapid recovery with this type of procedure is a huge benefit.”
Dr. Williams used the CoreValve® Evolut™ R Heart Valve, which is manufactured by Medtronic, in the TAVR procedures. This device was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on June 23, 2015 prior to the first U.S. implantation. The device is also approved in Europe.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit the Heart Valve Center or call 646-501-0264.