20 Years of TAVR

Innovative heart valve pioneered at Columbia and NYP transformed cardiac care

October 10, 2022

For 20 years Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian have helped pave the way for the advancement of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure for patients who need a new heart valve.

Dr. Martin Leon

Martin Leon

At the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference in September, the pioneers of TAVR celebrated the milestone anniversary and highlighted recent studies that aim to improve cardiovascular care.

“We are so pleased to celebrate the 20th anniversary of TAVR, its innovators, and the procedure’s transformational impact on patient care,” said Martin B. Leon, MD, who led the team at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia that pioneered TAVR.  

“We are proud of our team’s visionary role in the structural heart space and our contributions to cardiovascular medicine and look forward to continuing to innovate and make further advances to benefit patients,” said Leon, who is the Mallah Family Professor of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of the Center for Interventional Cardiac Care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He founded the TCT conference in 1988.

TAVR is used for patients with aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve, which prevents blood from flowing properly. Roughly 5% of people over the age of 75 will experience aortic stenosis, and many will require a heart valve replacement.

Before the advent of TAVR, the only treatment for severe aortic stenosis was open heart surgery, yet many patients were too ill for invasive surgery.

Now, the majority of patients with aortic valve stenosis have a minimally invasive option with TAVR. In the TAVR procedure, a replacement heart valve is advanced on a specially designed catheter through the groin and to the heart. Patients are often discharged from the hospital within 24 hours. There is no surgical wound beyond the small puncture mark where the catheter was inserted.

Over the years, NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University have participated in several clinical trials that helped TAVR achieve FDA approval and continue to advance. NewYork-Presbyterian has also trained many of the nation's physicians performing TAVR.

With TAVR now available for increasingly lower-risk operative patients, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center physicians are working on techniques to facilitate and improve the safety of valve-in-valve TAVR, which may help with the lifetime management of patients.



This article was adapted from a NewYork-Presbyterian press release.