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Morristown Medical Center One of 20 Nationwide to Offer Three Minimally-Invasive Tools for Heart Valve Repair, Replacement

MORRISTOWN, NJ, JUNE 2012 – Morristown Medical Center is the only hospital in New Jersey and one of just 20 across the country to offer three minimally-invasive treatment options for heart valve repair and replacement for patients who are ineligible to undergo open heart surgery.

Serious heart valve disease affects about 1 in every 40 American adults. Until now, the only treatment option for patients who suffer from either aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve which limits blood flow from the heart, or mitral valve regurgitation, a leak in the mitral valve, was by accessing the chest and opening the heart. There are now options – through clinical trials and commercially approved devices – that allow physicians to repair a damaged heart valve through a small opening in the leg.

“Treatment of these illnesses is critical not only for quality of life, but for survival,” said Robert Kipperman, MD, associate director, Advanced Interventional Therapeutics Program, Morristown Medical Center. “At Morristown Medical Center, we are proud to offer these latest tools to patients who are unable to withstand open heart surgery and offer them an option that means less recovery time, less blood loss, and much quicker recovery. These advances give patients another chance at life.”

The heart has four valves, which are tissue flaps that regulate the one-way blood flow either into or out of the heart by opening and closing with each heartbeat. When the valves do not work properly, the heart is forced to work harder to supply blood to the body. Without treatment, heart valve disease can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and lead to heart failure and other complications such as stroke or sudden death. Open heart surgery remains a viable option for patients strong enough withstand a lengthier procedure and recovery.

Morristown Medical Center offers the following procedures and tools to treat valve disease using minimally-invasive techniques:

  • CoreValve: Morristown Medical Center is one of 40 hospitals in the country to conduct a clinical trial for the Medtronic CoreValve System, technology that was designed as a less-invasive alternative to open-heart surgery. The new CoreValve system, meant to treat patients with symptomatic and severe aortic stenosis, is performed on a beating heart through a catheter in the groin and takes place in the cardiac catheterization lab. This procedure is known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and takes about an hour and a half. The CoreValve trial began in early 2011; enrollment is ongoing.

  • Sapien: The Edwards Sapien valve, developed by Edwards Lifesciences and approved last November for commercial use by the Food and Drug Administration, is inserted into an artery at the groin, then threaded up into the heart where it replaces the aortic valve. Also a TAVR procedure, Morristown Medical Center used the technology on its first patients in April 2012.

  • MitraClip: For more than three years, Morristown Medical Center has been the only NJ hospital participating in the EVEREST II trial to evaluate the safety and benefits of the MitraClip device to treat patients with mitral valve regurgitation. These patients are considered high risk for open heart surgery. Enrollment is ongoing.

For more information about these procedures or about cardiac clinical trials at Morristown Medical Center, please call 973-971-7001.

About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey, comprised of Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center in Summit and Newton Medical Center. The three medical centers – all accredited by The Joint Commission – have a combined total of 1,308 licensed beds and more than 2,750 affiliated physicians providing a wide array of health care services to the residents of Northern and Central New Jersey. Specialty service areas include advanced cardiovascular care, pediatric medical and surgical specialties, neurology, orthopedics, and sports medicine. Each of these programs has earned top ratings and recognitions in their respective fields. Atlantic Health System is the official health care partner of the New York Jets and an official health care provider of the New Jersey Devils.

Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute performs more heart surgeries than any other hospital in New York or New Jersey, and is one of 20 facilities across the country to perform catheter-based repair and replacement of valves on both sides of the heart. Atlantic Health System’s spine program – where surgeons perform more spine surgery than anywhere else in New Jersey – is one of just 13 hospitals across the country that has received the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission, achieving Disease-Specific Care Certification for cervical and lumbar spine treatments. With the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute based at Overlook Medical Center, the hospital serves as the hub for the New Jersey Stroke Network, and serves about 40 percent of the state’s stroke patients. The system’s Goryeb Children’s Hospital offers more than 100 board-certified physicians in 20 pediatric specialties. Morristown Medical Center is verified as a Level I Regional Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons and designated a Level II by the state of New Jersey.

Atlantic Health System has been chosen for the past three consecutive years by FORTUNE® as one of the magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®.” The organization has also been recognized four times by AARP as one of the “Best Employers for Workers over 50.” Inside Jersey magazine partnered with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and ranked Morristown Medical Center as the No. 1 hospital in New Jersey and the No. 1 hospital for treatment of heart failure and coronary surgery in the state. The survey findings also establish Overlook as No.1 for the treatment of neurological disorders and stroke in NJ. Atlantic Health System is a Major Clinical Research Affiliate with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and is the primary academic and clinical affiliate in New Jersey of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Media Contacts:

  • Pam Garretson
  • Manager, Public Relations
  • Morristown Medical Center
  • Atlantic Health System
  • 973-971-4932
  • Email
  • Morristown Medical Center
  • 100 Madison Avenue
  • Morristown, NJ 07960
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Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

Hackettstown Medical Center

651 Willow Grove Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

Affiliated Providers

Atlantic Medical Group

More than 900 health care