MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute last week hosted a surgical team from Massachusetts General Hospital, the largest teaching hospital of Harvard University, to share best practices for performing robotic mitral valve repair procedures.
This was the second visit by surgeons from Harvard. Serguei Melnitchouck, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital’s heart valve program co-director, and Nathaniel Langer, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital cardiac surgeon, previously visited for a week to observe techniques performed by Vinay Badhwar, M.D., WVU Heart and Vascular Institute chair of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, and Lawrence Wei, M.D., co-director of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute Center for Aortic Surgery and Center for Aortic Valve Disease. This most recent visit included the seven members of their surgical team.
Dr. Melnitchouck said one of the most valuable aspects of the training was the opportunity to bring his entire team to Morgantown so each member could train one-on-one with practitioners in the same roles.
“The WVU team is one of the best in the world for mitral valve repair. But, this program is really also the best for teaching robotic surgery because they have experience training the whole team,” Melnitchouck said. “It’s not just their performance, but it’s how they orchestrate the procedure with each member of the team to assure the best care for their patient.”
The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute has been recognized as one of the nation’s top mitral valve repair centers by the American Heart Association, and it has been a national innovator in robotic cardiac surgery. Since 2017, multiple surgical teams from around the world, including Yale University in 2019, have traveled to Morgantown to learn robotic cardiac surgery.
“It has been an absolute privilege to work every day with the truly outstanding team at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute to help deliver high quality robotic cardiac surgery to our patients,” Dr. Badhwar said. “Our WVU team has provided training to surgeons across the United States and around the world. This service not only permits WVU to influence access to advanced techniques for patients far beyond our borders, but affords us the honor of helping to enhance the quality of care as well.”
For more information on the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, visit WVUMedicine.org/Heart.