Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program gives hope to inoperable patients

We would like to share our excitement with you regarding our new groundbreaking Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program. This unique program of University of Minnesota Physicians Heart integrates multiple disciplines to provide a revolutionary treatment for patients with inoperable severe aortic stenosis.

The pivotal Partner Trial was released on September 23, 2010 by Martin Leon, MD of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and the Partner Trial Investigators. This was a randomized multi-center trial comparing the treatment of inoperable patients with severe aortic stenosis to standard medical therapy versus Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). The dramatic results demonstrated a 46 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 61 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality at 24 months with treatment by Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. Based on these results, the FDA approved the Edwards-Sapien Transcatheter Aortic Valve for Implantation in patients with inoperable severe aortic stenosis. Currently, the Edwards-Sapien Transcatheter Valve is placed via femoral access, however, other access sites are currently being pursued and investigated.

Shortly following the release of the Edwards-Sapien TAVI, we put together a TAVR team at the University of Minnesota to provide this groundbreaking treatment for our patients with aortic stenosis. Our team consists of interventional cardiologists, echocardiographers, CT cardiologists, CV surgeons, vascular surgeons, anesthesia team, and core staff from the cardiac catheterization laboratory and operating room. We have moved quickly with our first TAVR clinics at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview beginning in December 2011. We are currently alternating every other week between the medical center and our Edina location at Fairview Southdale Hospital.

TAVR conferences occur twice monthly on the second and fourth Thursday of each month and involve all integrated disciplines. We have put together a consortium consisting of hospitals around the Twin Cities to offer counseling and this unique potential treatment to a wide base of patients.

Beginning with our first implantation on March 26, 2012, this has been an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience for all of us. All implantations are performed in the hybrid (cath lab-OR) room at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. We currently have sixteen patients who have received this therapy. All patients are grateful for the opportunity to receive this innovative therapy and to transform their lives when no other options previously existed. We welcome any questions along with the opportunity to work with you and your patients. Feel free to contact us anytime.