Morton Plant Hospital Takes Next Step in Treatment of Severe Aortic Stenosis

February 21, 2014
Morton Plant Hospital Takes Next Step in Treatment of Severe Aortic Stenosis

Valve Clinic Team first in U.S. to utilize new valve that could give more patients the opportunity for treatment

CLEARWATER, Fla., (February 21, 2014) - Two years ago Morton Plant Hospital was the first in the Tampa Bay area to perform an advanced surgical procedure for severe symptomatic aortic stenosis called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Now, Morton Plant Hospital is expanding its Valve Clinic and TAVR programs with another first, utilizing the newly FDA approved self-expanding Medtronic CoreValve. 

Morton Plant is the first hospital in the country, not previously involved in the Medtronic research study, to implant the Medtronic CoreValve. The Heart Team at Morton Plant Hospital has now successfully completed six CoreValve implants. TAVR offers an alternative for patients with severe aortic stenosis, who are not considered candidates for conventional open heart surgery.

The CoreValve procedure is part of the legacy of firsts for the TAVR program since Morton Plant became the first hospital to bring the procedure to the Tampa Bay area two years ago. 

“The difference with the CoreValve is that it provides an opportunity to treat a broader group of patients, including those with small valves, who previously may not have been able to have the procedure,” said Joshua Rovin, MD, a cardiovascular surgeon and a member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team. 

“We hope that by utilizing leading edge TAVR treatment and technology, we can provide relief of symptoms, and improve the quality of life for more patients suffering from heart failure due to severe aortic stenosis,” said John Ofenloch, MD, a cardiovascular surgeon and a member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team.

In January, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the CoreValve. This means that patients do not have to be part of a clinical research trial to be considered, but still must meet FDA criteria. The CoreValve is implanted through a thin, flexible tube (catheter), that is advanced through an artery in the groin (femoral artery), arm (subclavian artery), or via a small chest incision (aortic). The valve is then delivered inside the diseased natural aortic valve and allowed to expand. 

“As more TAVR valves are approved, it provides additional resources that the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team can consider to treat patients who may not have been treatable before,” said Douglas Spriggs, MD, an interventional cardiologist and a member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team. 

“The TAVR procedure allows for the opportunity of a less invasive procedure, making it an option for patients who do not medically qualify for standard aortic valve replacement surgery,” said Lang Lin, MD, an interventional cardiologist and a member of the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic team. “Many factors are considered in the determination of the appropriate procedure for the treatment of advanced aortic valve disease. The valve clinic affords an opportunity for complex patients to be evaluated by an expert multidisciplinary team of physicians.”

Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic
Morton Plant Hospital’s TAVR program is coordinated through the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic, a multi-disciplinary team of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, and cardiac anesthesiologists focused on working together to determine the best medical or surgical options for each patient. 

Since it was the first in the Tampa Bay area to perform the TAVR procedure in 2012, the Morton Plant Hospital Valve Clinic Team has continued to participate at a national level on advances in TAVR treatment including:

  • First hospital in Tampa Bay to use both the transapical (small incision between the ribs of the lower left chest) and transaortic (small incision on the upper chest) approaches instead of a groin incision for TAVR.
  • TAVR PARTNER II Clinical Trial to study second generation Edward’s SAPIEN valve and delivery system designs.
  • Morton Plant Hospital currently is participating in the PARTNER II SAPIEN 3 intermediate risk clinical research trial involving the third generation Edwards replacement valve and delivery system. This nonrandomized study is evaluating the S3 valve in the intermediate risk patient population (patients with an STS risk of 4-8).
  • Completion of more than 180 TAVR procedures with excellent outcomes documented over two years.
  • First hospital in Tampa Bay to offer both the Edwards Sapien and the Medronic CoreValves to treat patients with aortic stenosis.

The team includes: Michael Barry, MD; Gregory Girgenti, MD; Todd Kovach, MD; Lang Lin, MD; John Ofenloch, MD; Joshua Rovin, MD; Douglas Spriggs, MD and Saul Tuchman, MD. Patients receive their surgery and recover in Morton Plant’s Morgan Heart Hospital.

For more information about the Morton Plant Hospital’s Valve Clinic, call (855) 448-2583 or log on to to learn more about TAVR procedure outcomes.

About Aortic Stenosis
Aortic stenosis is a disease process that affects the aortic valve. Symptoms can include chest pain, breathlessness, and weakness. One in three patients cannot tolerate open-heart surgery. 
In late stages of the disease, the valve does not open and close properly. This causes the heart to work harder to push blood through the calcified aortic valve and eventually the heart’s muscles weaken, increasing the patient’s risk of heart failure.

About Morton Plant Hospital
Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors. Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States to have been awarded Top 100 Hospital designations by the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success for a consecutive 13 years. Other hospital honors include: “Baby-Friendly” hospital status from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for its efforts to support mothers’ decision to breast feed and received Florida Hospitals Association’s Innovation of the Year in Patient Care award. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, Fla. For more information about Morton Plant Hospital, call (727) 953-6877.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 11 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. 

BayCare’s family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, St. Joseph’s Women’s, South Florida Baptist, and Winter Haven. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at