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Carle passes TAVR milestone, continues healing hearts through pandemic

Carle passes TAVR milestone, continues healing hearts through pandemic
While 2021 remained difficult for those wanting to maintain their health, hardworking professionals at Carle worked nonstop to continue providing high quality care. As the pandemic continued to present challenges, the need to maintain a healthy heart never slowed down.

Thanks to the experts at the Carle Heart and Vascular Institute, hundreds of patients were still able to receive a critical procedure to keep their hearts healthy and beating in the right direction. This procedure is called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and is an innovative, minimally invasive alternative for those who cannot have open heart surgery.
Dr. Sanjay Mehta, MD, cardiology, is one of the physicians leading the effort to perform this innovative procedure at Carle Foundation Hospital.

“We are so incredibly proud to be offering this lifesaving procedure to patients so close to home,” Dr. Mehta said. “With over 125 cases of TAVR procedures performed in 2021, numerous hearts are beating healthier than before despite the odds of the ongoing pandemic.”

For patients with severe aortic stenosis, a buildup in the aortic valve prevents blood from flowing freely from the heart to the body. Patients can experience shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, irregular heartbeat or even sudden death. Because many of these patients may not be good candidates for open heart surgery, this can often go untreated. Because of the TAVR procedure, these patients have another option.

Carle’s team of TAVR experts insert a small, collapsible catheter through a small incision in the thigh and guide it to the chest using X-ray. Once inside the aorta, the replacement valve expands to replace the damaged valve. The new valve allows blood to flow through immediately, adding years to your life in an instant.

Dr. Mehta emphasizes that the benefits of TAVR procedures are changing the way patients heal, recover and return to the activities they enjoy.

“This procedure provides hope for patients with severe aortic stenosis who may be too sick for open heart surgery,” Dr. Mehta said. “Patients leave this procedure with less scarring, a faster healing time and shorter hospitals stays. That alone is an incredible advancement.”

Carle Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) is one of the only providers in the region offering this innovative procedure since its FDA approval in 2011. TAVR procedures require the expertise of several heart disciplines, and Carle’s team of heart experts deliver the teamwork to make it happen for patients.

Issam Moussa, MD, cardiology, stresses that Carle’s comprehensive heart team is working together each and every day to bring this procedure to qualifying patients.
“Over 500 TAVR procedures have taken place here at Carle Foundation Hospital since its inception,” Dr. Moussa said. “Our heart surgeons, interventional cardiologists, echocardiographers, anesthesiologists and cath lab staff have extensive training in TAVR and work together to evaluate patient needs. That’s why when you choose Carle, you’re choosing the best in heart care.”

If you have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis and cannot have open heart valve replacement, ask your doctor for a referral to Carle Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI).

For more information on TAVR and how Carle is caring for hearts, visit

Categories: Redefining Healthcare

Tags: cardiology, cardiovascular, Champaign-Urbana, heart, TAVR