Regions hospital offers new alternative to open heart surgery

New heart disease treatment for what was untreatable

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Doctors at Regions Hospital have begun performing a less invasive procedure for heart disease. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was approved last November by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for elderly patients who are too frail or too old for open heart surgery. The device is not approved for patients who are eligible for open heart surgery.

Similar to coronary stenting
TAVR involves implanting an artificial valve through an artery in the groin using a procedure similar to coronary stenting. While TAVR has been widely available in Europe, it has only recently become commercially available in the United States.

Clinical trial: increased survival rates
FDA approval was based on the PARTNER clinical trial. After one year, TAVR reduced risk of death by 40% as well as resulted in a significant improvement in quality of life and reduced hospitalization and symptoms.

New treatment for what was untreatable
“About half of patients who cannot have surgery die within one year and this device is the first successful treatment for these patients who previously had no other option,” said Thom Dahle, MD, a HealthPartners Medical Group physician and Medical Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Regions Hospital. Degenerative calcified aortic stenosis (narrowed heart valve) affects between two and four percent of adults over the age of 65. Approximately 30 percent of patients with severe aortic stenosis are not candidates for traditional open heart because they are too frail to survive the procedure.

Regions Hospital
Regions Hospital is a Level I Trauma Center for adults and for children serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin for more than 130 years. A private, nonprofit, teaching hospital, Regions ( provides outstanding care in women’s health, heart, cancer, surgery, orthopaedics, neuroscience, burn, emergency care, mental illnesses and more. Regions is part of the HealthPartners ( family of health care companies that serves 1.4 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. Follow Regions Hospital at and


Regions Hospital
Patricia Lund, 651-254-4731
[email protected]

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