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  • CVI Performs 50 Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

  •       TAVR
      Edwards Lifesciences LLC,
    Irvine, CA
    Physicians at the Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) recently performed their 50 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a milestone that highlights the need for this lifesaving procedure.

    TAVR provides a noninvasive alternative to patients with severe aortic stenosis in need of valve replacement but considered too high-risk for open-heart surgery.

    Physician at the CVI were the first in Rhode Island and among the first in New England to perform the procedure.

    “The results are very gratifying,” explained Frank Sellke, MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Rhode Island Hospital. “Patients who were not able to have a surgical valve replacement in the past are now able to receive the best treatment possible with the TAVR procedure.”

    TAVR replaces a narrowed or diseased aortic heart valve non-surgically through a catheter that is inserted into the thigh. The valve is fed through that catheter to the heart, in effect replacing the valve from the inside.

    Previously, patients who could not undergo open-heart surgery would be treated with maintenance medications, but would not have the diseased valve surgically repaired or replaced. TAVR is performed in an operating room by an interventional cardiologist with support from a multi-disciplinary team, including cardiothoracic surgery staff.

    Aortic stenosis is a progressive disease that affects approximately 1.5 million people in the United States. About 250,000 of these patients suffer from severe aortic stenosis, which can restrict day-to-day activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs.

    Heart valve disease can occur in any single valve or a combination of the four valves, but diseases of the aortic and mitral valves are the most common, affecting more than five percent of the population.

    Without valve replacement, severe aortic stenosis can be life-threatening; 50 percent of patients will not survive more than an average of two years after the onset of symptoms.

    For more information or to refer a patient, please feel free to contact us at 1-855-384-8287 or email