The Barnabas Health Heart Centers were recently selected to participate in the very latest clinical research trial that offers a non-surgical treatment option for aortic stenosis, a heart valve condition that can severely limit a person’s quality of life.
Known as the PARTNER II trial, the new scientific study is an extension of the world's first and highly successful trial of a synthetic heart valve that can be implanted on the tip of a catheter. While the physicians at Barnabas Health Valve Center, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Medical Center, have been performing the FDA-approved transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure for more than year, the PARTNER II trial now allows the team to offer this minimally invasive treatment to a broader range of patients and introduces more advanced and variable-sized valves that allow the cardiac specialists to customize the TAVR procedure to each individual patient’s anatomy.
The incidence of aortic stenosis is increasing as the US population ages. The build-up of calcium causes a narrowing and/or stiffness of the heart’s main valve, reducing its ability to open and close completely. The narrowed valve inhibits the flow of oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting or feeling faint, and heart palpitations. Without an aortic valve replacement, approximately 50 percent of people with aortic stenosis will not survive more than an average of two years after the onset of symptoms.
Just a few years ago, the only treatment for aortic stenosis was open heart surgery. Today, the country’s leading cardiac centers are replacing this and other heart valves with catheter-based techniques such as TAVR that eliminate the need for dividing the chest with a long incision and stopping the heart.
In this highly technical procedure where experience counts, Barnabas Health is one of the nation’s top ten centers in the number of TAVR procedures performed. Furthermore, patients experience a significantly lower rate of stroke (a risk associated with TAVR) than the national average. This outstanding success has made the Heart Centers one of the premier heart programs chosen for the PARTNER II Trial and allows its physicians extends the eligibility for TAVR to more New Jersey residents.
The Barnabas Health TAVR team is comprised of highly skilled, multidisciplinary group of cardiologists, cardiac interventionalists, cardiac surgeons, a cardiac anesthesiologist, and a vascular surgeon. The operating room at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center offers all the imaging technology found in a state-of-the-art catheterization laboratory. Once the new valve is precisely placed and deployed-- pushing the leaflets of the diseased native valve aside—it begins to function immediately.
Each patient is evaluated by the team of cardiac specialists who provide a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s heart health. To ensure that residents from throughout the state have access to TAVR, Barnabas Health Valve Center conducts cardiac evaluations and follow-up care at two locations—Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Barnabas Health Heart and Lung Specialty Center at Toms River.
To learn more about TAVR, contact the Barnabas Health Heart Centers at 973-926-6938 or visit barnabashealth.org/heartcenters.
About Barnabas Health Valve Center
The Barnabas Health Valve Center, located at Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, performs more cardiac valve procedures annually than any other center in New Jersey. This interdisciplinary program combines the expertise of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac imaging specialists who work in concert to precisely diagnose and provide the most appropriate and least invasive treatment.
Depending on the specific needs of the patient, the entire spectrum of valve options is available and may be combined with other procedures such as coronary artery bypass, aortic dissection and aneurysm repair. It is the only program in the region to offer this level of care.
Date: July 18, 2013
Public Relations Department
Barnabas Health Heart Center