First time for implant in state

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Heart and Vascular Institute became the first in West Virginia to perform a minimally invasive procedure to implant the Tendyne Bioprosthetic Mitral Valve to combat mitral regurgitation (MR). The Institute is one of only 25 institutions worldwide chosen to participate in the clinical trial of this device.

The 79-year-old male patient is expected to make a full recovery with an excellent outcome.

A team of surgeons including Vinay Badhwar, M.D., Mohamad Alkhouli, M.D., James Mills, M.D., Wissam Gharib, M.D.Lawrence Wei, M.D., Bryan Raybuck, M.D., and Brian Grose, M.D., used a minimally invasive procedure known as transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR), the most recent advance in heart valve care, to place the implant. The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute is the only provider in the state to use TMVR to treat severe cases of MR.

Also known as a “leaky mitral valve,” MR is a debilitating, progressive, and life-threatening disease. Left untreated, it may lead to atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, stroke, or heart failure. MR occurs when blood leaks backward through the mitral valve each time the heart’s left ventricle contracts. MR is the most common valve disease in the United States, affecting nearly one in 10 people age 75 and older. 

TMVR is used for complex patients when conventional open heart is too risky. TMVR uses a catheter inserted through a small incision in the chest to implant the prosthetic mitral valve. This allows the surgeon to place the new valve in a beating heart without the need for cardiopulmonary bypass or the use of a heart-lung machine.

“The TMVR procedure and the Tendyne implant together represent a bold step in how we care for people in West Virginia who have leaky mitral valves,” said Dr. Badhwar, executive chairman of the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute and an international authority on heart valve repair and replacement. “This advanced technology and cutting-edge procedure, paired with our remarkable team of providers, enables us to bring the world’s most sophisticated heart care to the people of West Virginia and beyond.”

Only seven other hospitals in the United States were chosen to use the Tendyne implant, and WVU is the only institution in the tristate region to be selected. Other United States-based sites include the Cleveland Clinic, Emory University, and Baylor University.

“This is yet another example of how WVU Medicine continues to build and expand outstanding clinical programs that are truly first-in-class and among the best in the world,” said Albert Wright, president and CEO of WVU Medicine. “I have every reason to believe this is going to be one of the top 10 heart programs in the country before we’re done, and I think it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.”

The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute specializes in repairing or replacing diseased or damaged valves. The Institute was selected for this clinical trial based on the reputation of the faculty in the field of heart and vascular medicine. The Institute also performs robotic mitral valve repair and the Mitraclip procedure for patients with MR.

Vizient, the largest member-driven healthcare performance improvement company in the United States and an alliance of the nation's leading not-for-profit academic medical centers, recently named WVU Medicine - West Virginia University Hospitals as one of the top 10 academic medical centers in the United States based on its superior performance in quality and patient safety.