Deborah Heart and Lung Center Performs 550th TAVR Procedure: Over 100 Procedures Just in 2020 – Despite COVID-19

Deborah Heart and Lung Center celebrated a procedural milestone for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements (TAVR) – 550 procedures since the program’s inception in 2014.

TAVR is a sophisticated, minimally-invasive catheter-based treatment option for aortic valve replacement done with local anesthesia in Deborah’s hybrid operating room. Here interventionalists work side-by-side with heart surgeons to offer patients excellent valve replacement outcomes, without traditional open heart surgery and its longer recovery times.

“Our structural heart disease program continues to grow and evolve,” said Richard Kovach, MD, Division Director of Interventional Cardiology. “TAVR was first introduced for patients who needed an aortic valve replacement but were considered too high risk for an open-heart procedure. Since then the criteria has broadened, and now lower risk patients are also candidates for this minimally-invasive approach.”

Surgeon Paul Burns, MD agreed: “The rapid pace of innovation in the hybrid operating room continues to accelerate. TAVR is the perfect example of this, where multi-disciplinary teams of specialists work together to change the future horizon of what we consider ‘heart surgery’ to look like. Our TAVR record underscores Deborah’s commitment to this evolving boundary.”

Dr. Kovach pointed to the team’s solid record. “Even this year during COVID-19, we still performed over 100 TAVR procedures. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of every one on our team. And our increasing volume underscores the safety and successful patient outcomes that years of experience brings.”

Marking Deborah’s milestone, from left are: Val Harris, RN; Wendy Carey, RN; Gina Schlottke, RN (virtually); Joseph Chirichella, President and CEO; Joseph Manni, Executive Vice President, Operations, COO; Jamie Rice, RN; Jennifer Joiner, MSN, APN; Richard Kovach, MD; Amanda Robbins, RT; Lorraine Kelly, LPN; Rachel Marino, RN; Paul Burns, MD