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Patients May Not Need Open-Heart Surgery

March 20, 2019

Philippe Genereux, MD, presents at Scientific Sessions

About five million adults in the U.S. have aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve opening which restricts blood flow from the left ventricle of the heart to the aorta. Traditionally, patients were treated with open-heart surgery to have the valve replaced. However, many who most needed valve replacement were too sick or frail to undergo surgery.

A new study released on March 16, 2019 at the 68th Annual American College of Cardiology’s Scientific Sessions found that transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a procedure to repair the heart valve via a catheter inserted through the major vein of the leg, offers a safe and less invasive alternative to open heart surgery in some low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis,

The study found that a year after the procedure, the rate of death, stroke, or rehospitalization was significantly lower with TAVR than with traditional open-heart surgery.

Philippe Genereux, MD, noted international cardiovascular researcher and co-director of the Structural Heart Program at Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center co-authored the study, also released in the prestigious publication The New England Journal of Medicine.

As many as 400,000 patients around the world have had TAVR since it was first introduced in the mid-2000s.

Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center performs the most TAVR surgeries at a single site in the state.