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Hartford Hospital Named National Training Destination for New Approach to TAVR

May 31, 2022

The Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital has been selected as the national training center for a new approach to Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). HVI is partnering with Edwards Lifesciences, a global leader in patient-focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, for the training being held at the Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) for physicians from across the country.

TAVR, performed on patients with aortic stenosis, is a minimally invasive procedure to repair a damaged heart valve by inserting a replacement without removing the old, damaged one.

With this new approach, pioneered at Hartford Hospital, surgeons insert the catheter via the carotid artery with a small incision in the neck, rather than through the femoral artery in the groin. Hartford Hospital is one of few centers in the United States – and the only one in Connecticut – that uses this approach routinely for patients who aren’t candidates for TAVR through a femoral catheter insertion. This might include patients who have occlusive disease, those who have had an aneurysm or thrombosis in the aorta, or those who have had previous surgery access in the groin, which blocks access to deliver the catheter.

“Preferred access is always trans femoral. But if a patient is not a candidate for that approach, we can [insert the catheter through] the carotid artery rather than opening the chest and inserting that way,” said cardiac surgeon Mohiuddin Cheema, MD. “It’s as efficient and as safe as the transfemoral approach.”

Earlier this month, the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital performed its 2000th successful TAVR. Hartford Hospital, which has performed the minimally invasive procedure since 2012, is the first center in the state to achieve this milestone.

Did you know an aortic valve can be replaced without open-heart surgery?

Do you suffer from a diseased or congenitally malformed aortic valve? At Hartford HealthCare, your heart valve can be replaced without open heart surgery.

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