Febraury 9, 2022 — Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital recently achieved a milestone with the completion of the 100th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements (TAVR). With TAVR, a narrowed aortic valve is replaced using a catheter-based technique instead of open heart surgery.
“We are pleased to see excellent patient outcomes for our first TAVR 100 patients and look forward to accelerating this program further at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital,” said Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, executive director of the Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and chief of cardiac surgery. “We are proud to have pioneered this minimally invasive option at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and we are now able to offer this procedure for patients in McHenry County.”
During TAVR, interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons thread an artificial valve to the heart via a catheter, or tube, most often inserted in the patient’s groin. The valve is expanded and wedges the new valve within the patient’s own diseased aortic valve. The TAVR valve pushes the diseased valve leaflets to the side allowing the TAVR valve to take over the job of regulating blood flow.
Transcatheter techniques like those used in TAVR allow the procedure to be performed while the patient’s heart is still beating, eliminating the need for the heart-lung machine and an open heart operation.
“This procedure is a less invasive technique than surgery,” said Elizabeth Retzer, MD, interventional cardiology at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital. “The 100th TAVR at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital is a milestone that exemplifies our commitment to providing the highest quality of care for our patients.”
The TAVR team is composed of an interventional cardiologist, cardiac surgeon, a cardiac imaging specialist, valve clinic coordinator, structural heart nurse and a structural heart nurse practitioner.
“The 100th TAVR at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital reflects the dedication of all involved, from the planning to the delivery of care,” said Asad Sheikh, MD, medical director of the structural heart program at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital. “It is very gratifying to see patients improve their quality of life and who are able to quickly resume their activities.”
In addition to the TAVR milestone, Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Huntley Hospital successfully implanted the first CardioMEMS device, marking its continued commitment to expanding the cardiac program in McHenry County. A CardioMEMS is a monitoring device that is deployed in the pulmonary artery, allowing non-invasive monitoring of pulmonary artery pressures, which helps to guide medical therapy in patients with heart failure.
“Our vision to increase access to this innovative procedure in McHenry County and Kane County, which will help local patients receive care closer to their home,” said Asim Zaidi, MD, medical director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute for the Northwestern Medicine McHenry and Huntley Hospitals. “The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital pioneered TAVR and transcatheter techniques, and now we are able to extend it to Northwestern Medicine McHenry and Huntley Hospitals, providing the highest quality of care in a more convenient setting.”
To learn more about Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, visit heart.nm.org.
Related Northwestern Medicine TAVR Content: