Clinicians at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center Reach Minimally Invasive Milestone in Treating Aortic Stenosis

The first hospital in Nevada to offer Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) in 2012 – to provide patients with an option to open heart surgery – performs the 500th aortic valve replacement procedure last week week.

Clinicians on staff at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center successfully achieved a milestone last week by completing 500 Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements since beginning the TAVR program in 2012. That is when Sunrise Hospital’s clinicians performed the first TAVR procedure in Nevada. Aortic stenosis is the most prevalent heart valve condition effecting aging patients.

Led by Interventional Cardiologists and Cardiovascular surgeons – the Sunrise Heart Center team replaces the patients’ damaged aortic valves through a small incision in the skin. Performed in our Hybrid OR, TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. Aortic valve stenosis can cause a patient to feel faint, weak or lethargic as the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the body.

During the procedure, a hollow tube is inserted into the femoral artery through a leg incision. The new heart valve is compressed and inserted through the tube, then pushed up to the aortic valve where it is expanded. The new valve pushes aside the diseased valve. The existing valve holds the new valve in place.

“Patients with a degeneration of the aortic valve or who have had significant damage to the heart can lead a higher quality of life after having a TAVR,” said Dr. Nayab Zafar “What started as a glimmer of hope for a few hopeless patients is now available to the masses because of TAVR’s success as a less-invasive heart treatment delivering improved outcomes.” Dr. Zafar adds that the TAVR procedure was formerly used when patients’ heart valve disease was deemed inoperable or very high risk. Now TAVR is a good option for treating patients with intermediate risk.

“Placing the first TAVR in a beating heart to reclaim quality of life for the first patient in Nevada and the 500th patient is exemplary of our commitment to advanced heart therapy,” said Todd P. Sklamberg, CEO of Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. “I am extremely proud of our Heart Center team of clinicians who put their whole heart into caring for our community and for people across the region.”

The first TAVR procedure was performed at Sunrise Hospital by Dr. Nauman Jahangir in 2012.