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Westchester Medical Center Now Using Edwards SAPIEN XT Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve for TAVR

CONTACT:  David Billig             914) 493 8028


Westchester Medical Center Now Using Edwards SAPIEN XT Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Next-generation, lower-profile system will allow for the treatment of more patients with the
minimally invasive TAVR procedure

Westchester Medical Center, the regional leader in heart and vascular care, announced today that it is now using the Edwards SAPIEN XT transcatheter heart valve in Transcatheter Aortic Valve replacement (TAVR) procedures for the treatment of high risk and inoperable patients suffering from symptomatic severe aortic stenosis (AS).  The Transcatheter Heart Team at the medical center reported that they had recently performed a procedure using the new SAPIEN XT valve.

According to the manufacturer, patients who received the SAPIEN XT valve “have demonstrated a reduction in complications with the TAVR procedure, and have exhibited improved outcomes over earlier trials.”

 Aortic stenosis is a potentially life-threatening condition. The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body.  When blood leaves the heart, it flows through the aortic valve, into the aorta.  “When aortic stenosis is present, the aortic valve is not able to fully open, causing a decrease in blood flow to the body,” said Dr. Gilbert Tang, Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Westchester Medical Center.  “If left untreated, aortic stenosis can progress and will eventually become severe, resulting in a life-threatening condition and death.”

 The minimally invasive TAVR procedure using the SAPIEN XT valve involves passing the collapsible replacement valve through either an artery in the leg or the chest via a catheter based delivery system.  “Then, using high tech imaging equipment, our heart team advances the catheter until it reaches the aortic valve, where it is put into place and takes over for the patient’s own diseased aortic valve, added Dr. Tang.”

The procedure is performed in Westchester Medical Center’s hybrid operating room.  The hybrid operating room combines the most advanced surgical technology with the latest, most sophisticated imaging technology allowing surgeons and interventional cardiologists to perform minimally invasive, endovascular procedures using advanced imaging equipment as well as traditional open procedures in the same space—giving surgeons and cardiologists the ability not only to perform imaging studies in the same room eliminating the need to move patients during a procedure, but also to switch to an open procedure for patients who may require it.  Some additional benefits of the new hybrid OR include quicker recovery times, shortened hospital stays, better outcomes and reduced costs. 

In addition to state-of-the-art surgical equipment, the hybrid OR also contains advanced imaging equipment needed for minimally invasive techniques – angiography, CT scans and MRI – providing clear and accurate visualization of small vessels, stents, catheters and guide wires during complex procedures.  Specialists in various disciplines—heart surgeons, cardiologists, vascular surgeons and others will be able to carry out complex procedures collaboratively—using the hybrid OR to perform high-risk angioplasty, atrial fibrillation ablation, endovascular stenting, laser removal of device leads, and implantation of heart assist devices.

It is believed that up to 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis, a progressive disease that affects the aortic valve in the heart. Of these 1.5 million, approximately 250,000 people suffer from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, often developing debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal everyday activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs.



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