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Maimonides Cardiac Experts Perform Revolutionary New Heart Valve Procedure

(May 7, 2012 – Brooklyn, NY)  A team of cardiovascular specialists at Maimonides Medical Center has successfully performed two Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements (TAVRs), placing Maimonides once again at the forefront of groundbreaking therapies in cardiac care.

“Only a handful of Heart Centers in the nation are able to provide this option for heart valve patients,” said Dr. Jacob Shani, Chair of the Maimonides Cardiac Institute. “Our team of experts is unrivaled in exploring and developing the best therapies for cardiac problems.”

A transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a new and innovative approach to the treatment of severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve opening). Instead of standard open-heart surgery, a balloon catheter is placed in the femoral artery and guided into the heart. A compressed heart valve is then placed in the catheter and positioned directly inside the diseased aortic valve. Once in position, the balloon is inflated to secure the valve in place.

“TAVR is minimally invasive, with all the benefits that implies,” said Dr. Greg Ribakove, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Maimonides. “This is clearly the best option for certain patients who cannot undergo open-heart surgery.” 

Also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), this procedure is for patients suffering from aortic stenosis who are considered at high risk for surgery due to advanced age or other serious illness. The two patients who just underwent the procedure at Maimonides are ecstatic over the results.

“I had lost hope of ever feeling better,” said Grace Young, 78, who had been told at other hospitals that she had no options. “Now I feel like a whole new chapter of my life is beginning. The doctors and nurses at Maimonides are simply the best.”

“Everyone here at Maimonides has been super,” agreed Charles Christie, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who assumed his days were numbered. “With this new heart valve I can breathe more easily than I have in years. I can’t wait to get back to all my favorite activities.”

In clinical trials, TAVR has been shown to significantly improve survival compared to non-surgical therapy. It also significantly improves symptoms and quality-of-life, and reduces repeat hospitalizations compared to medical therapy. The TAVR approach is now approved by the FDA for patients who have severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis and who are ineligible for open-heart surgery. 

The Maimonides Cardiac Institute has a stellar reputation for excellence that spans 100 years. Known as a prestigious Heart Hospital since the middle of the 20th century, Maimonides is one of the most comprehensive cardiac centers in the nation, offering invasive and noninvasive, medical and surgical, adult and pediatric care.

The Cardiac Institute uses a team approach, partnering with referring doctors, cardiologists, cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons, nursing professionals, and – most importantly – patients and their families. Maimonides cardiac experts perform more than 10,500 noninvasive procedures, 5,000 invasive procedures in the catheterization and electrophysiology labs and 700 open-heart surgeries each year. Few hospitals in the nation rival its successful patient outcomes in the treatment of cardiac disease.

For more information on TAVI, click here.

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Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000