Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Aortic stenosis (narrowing) is a potentially life-threatening condition. The aorta is the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body. When blood leaves the heart, it flows through the aortic valve, into the aorta. In aortic stenosis, the aortic valve does not open fully. This condition decreases blood flow from the heart. In patients in whom the stenosis progresses and becomes severe, the result is a life-threatening condition. Aortic stenosis is one of the common aortic valve problems, along with aortic regurgitation (leakage), that we treat in different ways at the Valve Center. The Sapien aortic valve replacement device, which can be passed "over a wire" into the heart without major "open heart" surgery, represents a significant advance in the way heart surgery is performed to treat aortic stenosis.

What Is the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program?

The Stony Brook Valve Center offers new hope for high-risk and intermediate-risk patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis in need of valve replacement surgery. Without valve replacement, studies indicate that more than half of all patients with severe aortic stenosis will not survive an average of two years. Unfortunately, many of these patients are too ill to undergo open valve replacement surgery.

But now there's a new, less invasive approach — and with it, hope — even for patients with significant other medical issues. Stony Brook University Hospital is one of a select number of sites in the United States to offer this minimally invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or implantation (TAVI) that uses the Sapien transcatheter heart valve.

Our TAVR team performs the transfemoral TAVR procedure (going through artery in groin to heart) and the transapical TAVR procedure (going between ribs to heart). Use of the two different procedures allows for more patients to be candidates for this life-saving valve replacement, as one may be feasible when the other is not.

Patient selection and follow-up care involve a collaborative effort between referring physicians and our valve specialists.

Stony Brook's TAVR program is leading the way in the new era in heart surgery, where valve surgery can be performed without the surgery. Our multidisciplinary team of physicians includes two heart surgeons and four cardiologists — all with special expertise in valve disease and treating aortic stenosis (click on the Our Team tab above).

Our program is patient-focused in every aspect, from patient selection to procedure planning to treatment and postoperative care. Indeed, the care provided at the Valve Center is distinguished by our team approach, together with easy access to our valve specialists and excellent communication with referring physicians. In most cases, patients are seen at the Valve Center within one week of referral.

If you are a patient with severe aortic stenosis, or if you are a physician caring for a patient with this condition who could benefit from further evaluation, please call (631) 638-2101 to make an appointment, or to obtain more information about our TAVR program.

Our Team

Our multidisciplinary TAVR team has years of training and experience in cardiology including interventional cardiology and in cardiothoracic surgery, including valve surgery. This enables us to use the TAVR technology effectively in treating aortic stenosis and to provide comprehensive care for patients.

Our team includes:

  • Cardiovascular Imaging:
    Smadar Kort, MD, Director, Valve Center, Cardiology
    Kathleen Stergiopoulos, MD, PhD
    Noelle Mann, MD
    Howard Novotny, MD
    Jordan Katz, MD
  • Interventional Cardiologists:
    Puja Parikh, MD, FACC, FAHA, FSCAI, Co-Director, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program
    Jonathan B. Weinstein, DO
    Neal Patel, MD
    Giridhar Korlipara, MD
    Shamin Khan, MD
    Daniel Montellese, MD
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeons:
    Joanna Chikwe, MD, Director, Heart Institute and Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery
    Henry Tannous, MD, Associate Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgical Director, Structural Heart Program
    Thomas Bilfinger, MD, Co-Director, Aortic Center and Director, Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit
  • Cardiac Anesthesiologist:
    Jeremy Poppers, MD, Director of Cardiac Anesthesia

Meet Mr. Kleiner who received a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) at Stony Brook Heart Institute.