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Latest heart valve treatment allows more patients to avoid open-heart surgery

Pierluigi Longo for The Washington Post

STS Past President Joe Bavaria, MD, member Marc Gillinov, MD, and other cardiac surgeons talk to the Washington Post about the benefits and future of a heart procedure known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement or TAVR.

Many experts believe that TAVR will become the first-line valve replacement treatment for almost everyone with aortic valve disease.

“I think transcatheter valve technology is going to rule,” says Dr. Bavaria, co-director of the transcatheter valve program at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s a great technology, a radical, revolutionary technology. You don’t have to open up the chest and put somebody on a heart-lung machine. In the future — I can’t tell you when, but at some time — most aortic valve procedures will be done through a transcatheter approach.”

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