– The Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center was one of the first in the country to give hope to patients who had not been candidates for heart surgery in the past. Now, its team of interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons has reached a major milestone by performing 500 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) cases – more than any other center in the region.
“It is a minimally invasive approach to treat people who are high risk for traditional open-heart surgery due to severe aortic stenosis,” says Hersh Maniar, MD, Washington University cardiac surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “This condition weakens and narrows the heart valves, making it difficult for the heart to effectively pump blood to the body.”
As one of the original centers in the nationwide PARTNER (Placement of AoRTic traNscathetER valves) trial, a team of cardiac specialists have been pioneers of the procedure for nearly a decade. The Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center has been involved in all phases that led to FDA approval and continues to be an active participant in enrolling patients.
The TAVR procedure consists of a small incision made in the groin, chest or under the ribs, and a catheter threaded through a vein to the heart. Once it reaches the diseased valve, the catheter delivers a stent-type replacement valve. The replacement valve expands, pushes aside the old valve and immediately begins to function. The heart is never stopped or put on bypass during the procedure, which allows for faster recovery than open-heart surgery.
“It’s an effective way of providing treatment for patients who otherwise would remain untreated,” says Alan Zajarias, MD, Washington University interventional cardiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “This is phenomenal for patients who weren’t able to do their daily routine due to aortic stenosis. If they were high risk for surgery or not surgical candidates previously, we can now do something to help them live longer and feel better.”
The Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center is the most experienced in the region to offer the TAVR procedure and is renowned for its excellent patient outcomes, which surpass national standards.
Learn more about the TAVR procedure or call (855)-45-HEART to speak with a Heart & Vascular Center advanced practice nurse.
About Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Barnes-Jewish Hospital is a 1,315 bed teaching hospital affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. The hospital has a 1,763 member medical staff, with many recognized as "Best Doctors in America." Barnes-Jewish is a member of BJC HealthCare, which provides a full range of health care services through its 12 hospitals and more than 100 health care sites in Missouri and Illinois.
Kara Price Shannon