Yuma Regional Medical Center

Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size

Medical Staff Communication News

Media Alert
Yuma Regional Medical Center Introduces TAVR to the Yuma Community Offering High-Risk Patients an Alternative to Open Heart Surgery

Media Contacts:

Jenn Lotz or Shay Andres
Yuma Regional Medical Center
jlotz@yumaregional.org or sandres@yumaregional.org
928-336-7546 or 928-336-7595

Out of 1,500 heart programs in the United States, 250 are TAVR certified

Yuma, AZ -July 14, 2014 –Yuma Regional Medical Center's (YRMC) Heart Team has successfully completed its first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures. TAVR is a therapy for inoperable patients with severe, aortic valve stenosis and who are at high-risk and are not considered candidates for open heart surgery. Yuma Regional Medical Center has partnered with Edwards SAPIEN to provide this minimally-invasive heart valve procedure to the Yuma-area. There are only six TAVR programs in the state of Arizona.

Three years ago, cardiac surgeons and cardiologists at YRMC united to bring the TAVR program to Yuma. The first step was building the state-of-the-art Heart Hybrid Suite to house the procedure, which opened on April 8, 2013. Only heart programs that perform 50 or more surgical valve replacements a year are eligible for consideration of a TAVR program. The program is led by a skilled team of cardiovascular surgeons, including Dr. Roberto Cervera and Dr. James Moon and interventional cardiologists Dr. Mark Awar, Dr. Habteab Feseha and Dr. Evren Kaynak.

"It was an extremely selective and rigorous process to be chosen as a TAVR location, but we knew it was important for our patients, community and hospital," said Dr. Roberto Cervera, Thoracic Surgeon at YRMC. "Our team is excited to bring this sophisticated surgery to Yuma, to work with Edwards and to enhance the quality of life after surgery for our patients."

The balloon-expandable Edwards SAPIEN valve is delivered via a catheter-based approach through the groin or the ribs. The procedure lasts approximately three hours and has a recovery time of approximately two to five days post-operation. Open heart surgery usually requires seven to 10 days of recovery time post-operation. TAVR patients also resume their regular activities and schedules one to two weeks after the procedure, compared to approximately six weeks for open heart surgery patients.

The Yuma Regional Medical Center Heart Team also includes nurses, anesthesiologists, radiology technologists and surgical scrub techs, all of whom are in the Hybrid OR during the procedure. The heart team has taken a rigorous, multi-disciplinary approach to patient care in regards to future TAVR procedures.

Yuma Regional Medical Center is a 406-bed, not-for-profit hospital dedicated to providing outstanding medical care to the residents of Yuma and the surrounding communities in southwestern Arizona. The YRMC team includes over 2,000 employees, 300 doctors and hundreds of volunteers who work closely together to create a welcoming, caring, and compassionate environment for patients and their families. For more information visit www.yumaregional.org.

Edwards Lifesciences is the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. Driven by a passion to help patients, the company partners with clinicians to develop innovative technologies in the areas of structural heart disease and critical care monitoring, enabling them to save and enhance lives. Additional company information can be found at www.edwards.com.