MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Replaces Aortic Valve Via Catheter | MedStar Health

MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute Replaces Aortic Valve Via Catheter

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John WangBALTIMORE, MD (January 18, 2017) — For the first time in Maryland, a patient at low mortality risk to have open heart surgery, underwent an alternative approach to aortic valve replacement known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR, when Dr. John Wang and his team at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital replaced a man’s heart valve through a small flexible catheter placed in the groin.

As a regional TAVR leader with stellar results, MedStar Union Memorial was selected as one of 80 cardiac centers around the world, to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the transcatheter approach to replacing the aortic valve in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are low risk for traditional open heart surgery. The 78-year old man is the first patient in the state of Maryland to receive the heart valve as part of this clinical trial.

An estimated 2.5 million people over the age of 75, suffer with aortic stenosis, caused by calcium build-up in the aortic valve. The result is a narrowing in the valve which prevents it from opening and closing properly, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. The reduced blood flow increases pressure within the heart, causing the heart to weaken and function poorly.

“Replacing the aortic valve with heart surgery has been the gold standard in treating low risk patients with aortic stenosis,” said Dr. Wang. “However, during a TAVR procedure, we can replace the diseased aortic valve by inserting a new one through a catheter placed in the groin. The heart remains beating and the results have been excellent. The study will allow us to determine if this less invasive option is best for patients who are at low risk for traditional open heart surgery.”

Learn more about aortic stenosis and our heart valve program.


About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute


MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network

The MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network (MCRN), comprised of scientists, senior cardiovascular investigators, cardiovascular physicians, research nurses, technicians, and staff dedicated to advancing cardiovascular care through research, is responsible for coordinating and performing cardiovascular research within the MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI), the research arm of MedStar Health.
Based at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the network draws on MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute’s enormous patient experience, which includes more than 18,000 catheterizations, 5,000 percutaneous interventional procedures, and 1,800 open-heart procedures per year.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit