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Lourdes Cardiologists’ Heart Valve Treatment Study Published in Major Medical Journal

Lourdes Cardiology Services interventional cardiologist Steven Kernis, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and cardiac surgeon Arthur Martella, MD, FACS, recently had their case study on transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) published in the Journal of Invasive Cardiology.

The study, “A Tale of Two Milestones–From Vineberg to Cribier: The Miracle of Technology,” details an 88-year-old woman who has benefited from two major advances in cardiac surgery in her lifetime. The procedures, in 1969 and 2013, both provided lifesaving treatment when few other options existed.

“Our patient’s medical history illustrates the impact of two procedures that revolutionized cardiac surgery, coronary revascularization, pioneered by Dr. Arthur Vineberg, and TAVR, first performed by Dr. Alain Cribier,” said Dr. Kernis. “These innovative procedures have dramatically improved her quality and length of life. Hers is truly a tale of two milestones.”

About 1.5 million Americans suffer from aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve that limits blood flow to the rest of the body. Without a valve replacement, the condition can lead to heart failure or death.

Previously, people with a severe narrowing who were considered inoperable or at too high risk to undergo open heart surgery were limited to less-effective treatment with medication.

Approved in 2011, the TAVR procedure enables the placement of a collapsible Edwards SAPIEN aortic heart valve into the body via a catheter inserted through the groin artery and delivered to the heart, similar to a cardiac catheterization procedure. For patients with inaccessible leg artery access, a small chest incision under the breast is an alternative option. In both cases, the device is inserted inside the existing valve, allowing the patient to have a new, fully functioning aortic valve. The procedure is performed without stopping the patient’s heart or the need for cardiopulmonary bypass.

More than 50,000 TAVR procedures have been performed worldwide. Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center is a leading provider of TAVR in the Philadelphia area.

The patient in the study, like many who undergo TAVR, was released from the hospital three days after the procedure. She remains without any cardiovascular symptoms, said Dr. Kernis.

Kishore Harjai, MD, of Geisinger Clinic Northeast, also authored the study.

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