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2012 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Performs First Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in Tampa Bay Area
04/04/2014

Procedure Brings a Treatment Option for Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis 

CLEARWATER, Fla., (February 9, 2012) -- Morton Plant Hospital continues its legacy as a leader in heart care by performing the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery (TAVR) in the Tampa Bay area. A treatment for severe aortic stenosis, the TAVR procedure is used for patients who were previously considered inoperable. The first two TAVR procedures were performed at Morton Plant Hospital on February 2, 2012.

“The TAVR procedure is a breakthrough in the treatment of patients with severe aortic stenosis. It brings a treatment option to patients where one previously did not exist,” said Joshua Rovin, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic Team.

Aortic stenosis is a disease process that affects the aortic valve. In late stages of the disease, the valve does not properly open and close. This causes the heart to work harder to push blood through the calcified aortic valve and eventually the heart’s muscles weaken, increasing the patient’s risk of heart failure.

“In its severe form, aortic stenosis can be extremely limiting for a patient to the point of hindering their ability to perform daily activities,” said Lang Lin, MD, an interventional cardiologist and member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team. “Ultimately our goal is to help patients regain function and hopefully return to the activities they once enjoyed.”

“As a minimally invasive procedure, TAVR is performed by implanting a replacement valve through the femoral artery,” said Douglas Spriggs, MD, interventional cardiologist and member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team. The valve is inserted into the femoral artery through a small incision in the groin and then guided into the heart. Although general anesthesia is used, patients do not undergo cardiopulmonary bypass or experience a large incision in the chest.

The TAVR procedure is performed by a board-certified, multidisciplinary team of interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac anesthesiologists. “One of the most important aspects of the TAVR procedure is the teamwork across medical disciplines,” noted John Ofenloch, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic. “We are together at the operating table taking different roles in guiding, placing and deploying the replacement valve.”

Patients receiving the TAVR procedure are first seen at Morton Plant Hospital’s Valve Clinic. Believed to be the first in the region to offer a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach, Morton Plant Hospital’s new Valve Clinic specializes in the treatment of complex heart valve disorders. The team uses a “share care” philosophy, working closely with a patient's personal physician in the clinical decision-making and treatment of patients. The “share care” approach helps ensure a smooth transition for the patient back to their personal physician after their visit and treatment at the Valve Clinic.

For the TAVR and other specialized heart procedures, Morton Plant constructed a new hybrid operative suite, along with opening a Valve Clinic for the treatment of complex heart valve disorders such as aortic stenosis. Patients receive their surgery and recover in Morton Plant’s Morgan Heart Hospital. 

Morton Plant Hospital is one of a select number of hospitals across the country designated to perform the new TAVR procedure. For more information about the Morton Plant Hospital’s Valve Clinic, call (855) 448-2583 or log onto the Morton Plant Mease Valve Clinic.

About Morton Plant Hospital

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility that has built a national reputation for heart care. Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States to have been awarded Top 100 Hospital designations by the Thomson Reuters Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success for a consecutive 13 years. For three years, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has awarded Morton Plant Hospital's heart surgery program its prestigious overall three-star rating, the highest designation given to hospitals by STS. Morton Plant is one of only approximately 13 percent of more than 1,000 hospitals with a cardiac surgery program to receive a three-star rating. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla. 

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. 

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at www.BayCare.org.

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Media contact: Beth Hardy, (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager