CHARLOTTE, NC – Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC is the first hospital in the Charlotte region to perform TAVR by the transapical approach, which was recently approved by the FDA. Additionally, the FDA announced that TAVR is now approved for high risk patients; previously it was only approved for inoperable patients.
TAVR is a catheter-based approach for valve replacement. The procedure is appropriate for people with severe aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the heart valve that causes a restriction in blood flow to the heart. Many patients with severe aortic stenosis cannot endure the traditional surgical approach of open-heart surgery for valve replacement due to age or coexisting health reasons.
During the transapical approach, a small incision is made between the ribs of the left lower chest. The replacement valve is then inserted directly into the heart using a catheter/guide wire system. Prior to this approach, physicians had been limited to a transfemoral approach, wherein physicians insert a replacement valve into the femoral artery through a small incision in the groin and then guide it into the heart.
Patients who have previously been denied TAVR because of limited access to the aortic valve from the femoral artery (due to small blood vessels) now have an option for valve replacement and, ultimately, a better quality of life. Additionally, the transapical approach allows for the shortest and most direct route to the diseased aortic valve, allowing for a faster procedure and shorter recovery time than standard aortic valve replacement.
“The Presbyterian Cardiovascular Institute continues to make strides toward bringing the most advanced procedures and treatment modalities to the Charlotte region,” said Yele Aluko, medical director of the Presbyterian Cardiovascular Institute. “We are proud to be the first facility in the Charlotte region to perform TAVR by transapical approach, and I attribute that achievement to the collaboration of many teams throughout Presbyterian Hospital and their focus on keeping the patient at the center of all decisions.”
Earlier this year, Presbyterian Hospital was the first hospital in the Carolinas to offer transfemoral TAVR following FDA approval of the procedure and is currently the leading volume TAVR center in the region.
The Presbyterian TAVR team, an interdisciplinary group of interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists and cardiac imaging specialists, is focused on working together to determine the best medical or surgical options for each patient.