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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

A National Leader in Cardiac Care

NYU Winthrop continues to receive accolades as a national leader in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a revolutionary and lifesaving procedure that enables patients with severe aortic stenosis to receive a new heart valve without undergoing open heart surgery. As one of the busiest and most experienced TAVR programs in the nation, NYU Winthrop began offering the procedure for high-risk cases of severe aortic stenosis in February 2012, following its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since then, the Hospital has been invited to participate in multiple trials to examine the efficacy of TAVR in intermediate-, low-, and most recently, “beyond low-risk” patients, which are asymptomatic patients with aortic valve stenosis. Our success in this arena is evident. In fact, NYU Winthrop has the best patient outcomes for TAVR on Long Island.

What is Aortic Stenosis or Aortic Valve Stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a common heart valve disorder that causes the narrowing of the aortic valve opening and hinders the heart from pumping blood normally. As we age, the aortic valve develops wear and tear causing calcium to deposit on the valve. As it continues to deteriorate, more and more calcium develops ultimately causing the valve to not open wide enough and adequately pump blood throughout the body. The heart is then forced to work harder, eventually weakens and cannot supply enough blood to the body. This can result in shortness of breath, fatigue, chronic heart failure, chest pain and may cause a patient to pass out. If untreated, death can occur even if the patient is otherwise healthy. Aortic valve replacement, either surgically or by TAVR, is necessary.

Illustration of a healthy heart valve
Healthy Aortic Valve

Illustration of a moderate aortic valve stenosis
Moderate Aortic Valve Stenosis

Illustration of a severe aortic valve stenosis

Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis

How does TAVR work?

TAVR does not employ open heart surgery to replace a heart valve. A stent containing the new valve is attached to a catheter, or tube, and guided by state-of-the-art imaging through a large artery in the patient’s leg into the heart where it is placed directly into the malfunctioning natural valve. The natural valve is pressed against the wall of the heart by the stent, and the new valve, which is released from the catheter, begins functioning immediately.

Illustration of a step 1 transfemoral approach for TAVR
Transfemoral Approach – Step 1

Illustration of a step 2 transfemoral approach for TAVR
Transfemoral Approach – Step 2

Illustration of a step 3 transfemoral approach for TAVR
Transfemoral Approach – Step 3

Who is a candidate for TAVR?

Your cardiologist will let you know if you may be a candidate for TAVR. The process begins in your own doctor’s office where many of the preliminary tests should be performed. Patients are then evaluated by NYU Winthrop’s Heart and Vascular Services team. The interventional cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon will meet with you on the same day in the same location and nurse coordinators will guide you through the process. Your physician, who remains involved in your care every step of the way, will work closely with the NYU Winthrop team to ensure that you receive the best and most appropriate treatment. When the procedure is completed, you will continue to be monitored by your doctor as you recover. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please call 516-663-8270 or 516-877-5478.

The TAVR Team at NYU Winthrop

Scott Schubach, MD, FACC, FACS, FCCP
Chairman, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

Kevin Marzo, MD, FACC
Chief, Division of Cardiology

Richard Schwartz, DO, FACC
Medical Director, Transcatheter Valve Replacement

Khaled Salhab, MD, FACS
Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Anthony Gambino, MD, FACC
Interventional Cardiology

Stephen Green, MD, FACC
Interventional Cardiology