Last month, a structural heart team composed of interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Cardiovascular Institute completed the first valve-in-valve procedure using the Evolut™ FX TAVR system, a self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement system. The UAB Medicine team was among the first in the nation to use this new technology in TAVR systems, which are used to treat aortic stenosis.
Aortic stenosis is a serious condition that impacts the heart health of thousands of Americans each year. It occurs when the heart’s aortic valves begin to narrow, reducing or blocking blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Without treatment, severe aortic stenosis can lead to death.
A transcatheter aortic valve replacement — TAVR — is a minimally invasive heart procedure that replaces the thickened aortic valve with a man-made valve. TAVR is an alternative to open-heart surgery and can help restore blood flow and reduce the signs and symptoms of aortic valve stenosis. People who have TAVR often have shorter hospital stays than those who have surgical aortic valve replacements.
The Evolut™ FX TAVR system is designed to provide greater precision and control throughout the procedure. This leads to lower mortality rates, lower stroke rates and overall better patient outcomes. The device will be used to treat patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis who are at high or extreme risk for open-heart surgery. The device can also be used for intermediate- and low-risk patients.