Ascension Via Christi

February 2023

Another U.S. first for Ascension Via Christi structural heart team

The Structural Heart team at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas, has successfully performed the first U.S. transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) using a next-generation system newly approved for commercial use by the Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at high or extreme surgical risk for open-heart surgery.

The system is one that the team already has experience with as they were the leading global enroller for its FDA-approval study.

“We are honored to be among an elite group of centers helping lead the development of cutting-edge cardiovascular technologies worldwide,” said interventional cardiologist Bassem Chehab, MD, who served as one of the study’s principal investigators. “Each new trial provides us with another therapeutic option in treating our patients, allowing us to tailor our therapies to the patient rather than the other way around.”

Dr. Chehab and cardiothoracic surgeon Brett Grizzell, MD, have led the Structural Heart team at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis since it was established nearly a decade ago to offer new therapeutic options and hope to patients with failing hearts. Cardiologists Richard Steckley, MD, and Gurav Tyagi, MD, along with cardiothoracic surgeons Bethany Harpole, MD, and Jordan Groskurth, MD, also participated in the case.

“Our participation in cutting-edge clinical trials allows patients in our community to benefit from clinical breakthroughs much sooner than they otherwise could, which can be a lifesaver for acutely ill patients who are running out of options and time,” Dr. Grizzell said. “At the same time, we continue to play a role in helping shape the future of care for patients with failing hearts worldwide.”

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