The Christ Hospital Performs 500th Life-Saving Heart Valve Replacement Treatment

We are proud to announce that The Christ Hospital heart & vascular team has now improved the lives of more than 500 heart valve patients who were not candidates for open heart surgery. In 2011, we were the first to bring a new minimally invasive treatment known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, to our region and have since developed one of the fastest-growing heart valve programs in the country.

"Clinical research at The Christ Hospital drives quality and innovation in healthcare in our community," said Ian Sarembock, M.D., executive medical director of heart and vascular services. "Our work is advancing cardiovascular care on a national level while providing a unique resource to heart patients in our community." 

In the past, this procedure has been reserved for high surgical risk patients. We are one of the first centers in the country, and first in the region, able to offer TAVR to patients with high, intermediate and low surgical risks.  TAVR for aortic stenosis allows physicians to use a catheter-based system to deliver a new heart valve through an artery in the upper thigh for precise placement within the diseased valve, providing increased blood flow almost immediately.

Recently, Dr. Sarembock treated both a father and son for the same TAVR procedure. Four years ago, Stephen Gustin had the TAVR procedure performed at The Christ Hospital. Now, at 56-years-old, Stephen stood by his father's side as he went through the same procedure. Eighty-five-year-old Charles Gustin had the procedure just a few weeks ago and is already seeing the benefits.

"This is wonderful," said Stephen Gustin, of Lebanon. "If it weren't for the TAVR procedure, I'd be dead; it saved my life and I've been great ever since. And my dad needed it as well. Because of his situation with his heart, he was the perfect candidate for the TAVR procedure. Originally, he had a cardiologist tell him that he may need surgery. But the TAVR is so much better for someone of his age and condition."

A study reported at the recent American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago found that centers who performed higher volumes of TAVR had significantly better clinical outcomes for patients including improved survival. We have the most experienced TAVR program in the region, providing life-saving heart valve replacement treatment without open heart surgery to nearly 500 patients.

With a dedicated team of interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other specialists, we provide patients the most treatment options and best possible outcomes. Advanced heart and vascular care is now more accessible than ever. To speak to a valve specialist, call 513-206-1222 or click for information on our The Christ Hospital Physicians - Ohio Heart & Vascular locations throughout Great Cincinnati.