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Revolutionary heart procedure performed at The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus

Aug 12, 2019

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) provides a minimally invasive alternative for aortic valve repair

EL PASO, Texas — The Hospitals of Providence continues to be a leader in the healthcare industry for the Paso del Norte region, pursuing advancements in treatment and technology. In its continued commitment to expand cardiology services in El Paso, doctors and medical staff at The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus performed its first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).

TAVR is a minimally invasive way to replace a patient’s narrowed aortic valve without traditional open-heart surgery and while the heart continues to beat, eliminating the need for a cardiopulmonary bypass. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a less invasive treatment option for those individuals with severe aortic stenosis who, because of age or other medical issues, might not be considered good candidates for traditional surgery. TAVR is performed by physicians experienced in interventional cardiology, advanced cardiac imaging, cardiothoracic surgery, and anesthesiology.

“This is an exciting technology for our community and it’s very significant that Sierra Campus was chosen as the first hospital in El Paso to offer the TAVR procedure to low-risk patients,” said Dr. Chalam Mulukutla, board-certified interventional cardiologist, who performed the procedure. “The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is a great technological breakthrough to treat patients through a less-invasive alternative and minimize the recovery time.”

“Open-heart surgery to replace the diseased heart valve is one treatment option for aortic stenosis when it advances to a critical stage,” said Dr. Hector Flores, board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon, who is also part of the multidisciplinary heart team. “However, certain patients are not suitable candidates for open-heart surgery due to their age, co-existing medical conditions, or other factors. TAVR can be an excellent option for these individuals. Our goal is to get our patients back to the life they love and the activities they enjoy.”

Additionally, the Sierra Campus was selected to participate in the Edward Lifesciences PARTNER 3 Low Risk Trial for TAVR. The procedure offers low-risk cardiac patients with severe aortic valve stenosis a less-invasive alternative for aortic valve repair.

Sierra Campus was specifically selected by Edward Lifesciences in order to ensure the underrepresented populations are included in the nationwide study of this new procedure.

“This is a significant opportunity for the El Paso community and will benefit so many of our community members who are not candidates for open heart surgery or had to leave town to have this procedure done,” said Rob Anderson, chief executive officer for The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., killing more people every year than all forms of cancer combined. Severe aortic stenosis is a serious heart valve disease, which causes a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, and restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta and may also affect the pressure in the left atrium.

“Expanding cardiology services is a commitment we have been passionate about,” said Anderson. “Bringing TAVR to the El Paso community has been a five-year journey in the making. We are so incredibly proud of the team of physicians and healthcare providers for their vision in making this a reality.”

Many patients with severe aortic stenosis are not treated because they are deemed unsuitable for surgery, have not received a definitive diagnosis or because they delay or decline the procedure for a variety of reasons. Patients who do not receive an aortic valve replacement (AVR) have no effective, long-term medical treatment option to prevent or delay their disease progression. Without it, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is life-threatening – studies indicate that 50 percent of patients will not survive more than an average of two years after the onset of symptoms.

Sierra Campus was recently recognized as one of ten hospitals in the nation to be designated as a HeartCARE Center of Excellence. In addition, the Sierra Campus was also recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and received accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities (CARF).

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