On January 12, 2012 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte North Carolina, ANPA member Dr. Yele Aluko led a team of physicians that successfully performed transcatheter aortic valve replacement in two patients with critical aortic stenosis.
Presbyterian Hospital was the first hospital in the Carolinas to perform the new, commercially-approved transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a lifesaving procedure intended for patients not suited for surgery. This transformational technology was approved by the FDA in November 2011. Presbyterian became the first hospital in the Carolinas and one of the first in the country to perform this procedure after commercial approval and outside clinical trials.
This heart valve replacement is performed while the heart is beating and eliminates the need for traditional open-heart surgery. Together, an interventional cardiologist and cardiovascular surgeon create a small incision in the groin and feed a wire mesh valve through a catheter to the patient’s heart from the femoral artery. Physicians and staff from Mid Carolina Cardiology Hawthorne Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgeons, Presbyterian Anesthesia Associates, Mecklenburg Radiology Associates, and cardiovascular nurses and staff collaborated to perform this landmark procedure.
TAVR is appropriate for people with severe aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart valve that causes a restriction in blood flow to the heart. Many patients with severe aortic stenosis cannot endure the traditional surgical approach of open-heart surgery for valve replacement due to age or coexisting health reasons.
Dr. Aluko, a past ANPA president, is an interventional cardiologist with Mid Carolina Cardiology and is Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at the Presbyterian Cardiovascular Institute in Charlotte, NC.