This is the first time this procedure has been performed in northeastern New York by a non-study center for commercial purposes following FDA approval in November. The technique, which also is referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is important because it allows for valve replacement without open-heart surgery.
A 75-year-old woman from Troy and a 90-year-old woman from Wynantskill will be home for the holidays thanks to the procedures, which were performed back-to-back on Dec. 20 by a multi-disciplinary team of physicians at Albany Med—Augustin DeLago, M.D., director of interventional cardiology; Edward V. Bennett, M.D., chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery; Lewis Britton, M.D., section head of cardiac surgery; Manish Mehta, M.D., director of endovascular services, The Vascular Group; Mark Tallman, M.D., of Capital Cardiology; Farhan Sheikh, M.B., head of cardiac anesthesiology; and Saroj Pani, M.D., of the department of anesthesiology.
“These patients were very sick and were turned down by multiple surgeons for traditional surgery. We were able to successfully implant a valve with minimal trauma and improve their symptoms as well increase their life expectancy,” said lead cardiologist Dr. DeLago.
Aortic stenosis is a potentially life threatening condition that involves an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve thus impeding the flow of oxygenated blood from the heart to the aorta. Symptoms include fatigue, fainting and chest pain.
The FDA approved the Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve only for those patients with severe aortic stenosis who have been determined by a cardiac surgeon to be ineligible due to age or other medical conditions for traditional open-heart aortic valve replacement.
This minimally invasive alternative involves delivering a collapsible artificial valve into the heart using a catheter inserted through a small incision in an artery of the leg or in the chest. The artificial valve is expanded inside the diseased valve by inflating a balloon and almost immediately goes to work.
It is estimated that 300,000 U.S. patients suffer from valve deterioration each year and approximately 50,000 people undergo the conventional open-heart surgery.
“TVAR is proving to be a viable way to make valve replacement feasible for a broader range of patients,” said Dr. DeLago.
To learn more about this procedure and view videos, visit www.amc.edu/TAVR. To access animation of the procedure for use in broadcast, contact the public relations office at Albany Medical Center at (518) 262-3421.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and which also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with 325 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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