Mercy and Iowa Heart Center’s Structural Heart program recently performed its 500th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in July of 2017. This milestone would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the highly-skilled Mercy professionals who interact with the program and patients. To show appreciation to the many individuals and departments that help make this program a success, a reception was held to recognize their contributions.
“Our program is only successful due to the support we receive from every person who touches our patients,” said Dr. Atul Chawla, Iowa Heart Center cardiologist and medical director of the structural heart program.
The program originated in July of 2011 as part of the Medtronic CoreValve clinical trial and quickly became the most experienced and largest center in the region. Now four treatment options are available for patients with severe aortic stenosis, a debilitating narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve that causes shortness of breath, lightheadedness and fatigue. The minimally invasive TAVR procedure repairs the aortic valve by implanting an artificial valve through a catheter, or thin tube, inserted through a large artery in the leg or chest in patients.
Drs. Atul Chawla and David McAllister, interventional cardiologists, work jointly with cardiothoracic surgeons – Bart Jenson, M.D., Marnix Verhofste, M.D, Ganga Prabhakar, M.D., and David Hockmuth, MD., to treat patients with valvular heart disease.
“TAVR and our other transcatheter valve procedures offer patients—most of whom have no other option—a second chance at life,” said Dr. Chawla. “We have been privileged to be a leader in one of the greatest innovations in the history of cardiovascular care and treatment. It is a joy and honor to watch these significantly ill patients thrive after their procedures.”