Morton Plant Hospital Marks Five Years of Performing TAVR Surgeries

February 07, 2017

Minimally Invasive Surgery to Treat Severe Aortic Stenosis

CLEARWATER, Fla., (February 7, 2017) -- This month, Morton Plant Hospital marks another milestone as a leader in health care in the Tampa Bay area, with the five-year anniversary of the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery performed here.

In the five years since Morton Plant Hospital became the first hospital in the Tampa Bay area to perform TAVR surgery, doctors here have performed more than 700 procedures, giving hope to patients and their families who often had no other surgical options.

A minimally invasive heart valve replacement surgery, TAVR is a treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for open heart valve replacement surgery.

“We can offer patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis an option that improves their quality of life,” said Joshua Rovin, MD, FACS, cardiovascular surgeon and medical director, Center for Advanced Valve and Structural Heart Care at Morton Plant Hospital. “Our patients are able to return to activities they haven’t been able to enjoy in quite some time.”

Over the past five years, Morton Plant’s TAVR program has developed into the Morton Plant Center for Advanced Valve and Structural Heart Care, a multi-disciplinary team including cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists, specialized advanced care practitioners, and cardiac anesthesiologists focused on working together to determine the best medical or surgical options for each patient.

“The addition of transcatheter techniques for the treatment of heart valve disease has greatly expanded the number of patients we can help.  The Center for Advanced Valve and Structural Heart Care is designed to identify the best treatment for each individual patient in a collaborative setting with many cardiac experts.  In addition to minimally invasive heart valve surgery, we are now able to provide catheter-based treatment for deteriorated tissue valves,” said John Ofenloch, MD, cardiovascular surgeon and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Morton Plant Hospital.

The center was among the first hospitals in Florida to treat severe mitral valve regurgitation with the MitraClip device, the world’s first percutaneous mitral valve repair therapy. To date, the Center has performed over 100 MitraClip procedures. Additional disorders treated by the Center include: mitral stenosis and regurgitation, tricuspid stenosis and regurgitation, aortic regurgitation, surgical paravalvular leak closure, Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closure, and Atrial Septal or Ventricular Septal Defect (ASD/VSD) closure. Depending on the severity of disease and other factors, patient treatment options may include medical management, minimally invasive valve repair or replacement, or percutaneous mitral valve repair or replacement therapy.

The team’s level of expertise in valve replacement has given Morton Plant the opportunity to participate in numerous national clinical research trials. “Currently our Morton Plant physicians have access to every available TAVR valve, including new technology currently part of clinical research trials. Our experience has translated into world class clinical outcomes and now more types of aortic stenosis patients can have the option of a minimally invasive procedure,” said Dr. Rovin.

Until recently, TAVR had only been approved for patients at high risk for complications associated with open-heart surgery. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an expanded indication for the Sapien XT and Sapien 3 transcatheter heart valves for patients who are at intermediate risk for complications from open-heart surgery. Morton Plant Hospital has been participating in the trial for this since 2012, but can now offer this to patients who did not previously qualify for these trials.

“Through various FDA trials we have participated in since 2012, our team has been working toward the goal of providing access to TAVR for all patients. With a minimally invasive TAVR procedure, patients can have a faster recovery process,” said Dr. Rovin.

Currently, Morton Plant Hospital is participating in a clinical research trial assessing TAVR for low-risk aortic stenosis patients who have traditionally only been treated with surgical aortic valve replacement. Providing access to TAVR through this study could also potentially open this treatment to a new patient population.

To better serve patients and their families, a satellite Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery office has opened at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Staffed by BayCare’s leading board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons who are part of Morton Plant’s valve center team, the outpatient heart surgery clinic evaluates patients and guides them through the testing process. If surgery is needed, the St. Anthony’s clinic will help patients through that process and surgical procedures will be performed at Morton Plant Hospital.

About Morton Plant Hospital’s Cardiovascular Services
The first hospital in Tampa Bay to perform open heart surgery in 1975, Morton Plant Hospital is a Level II cardiac surgery program. Along with being recognized 15 times as a Truven Health Analytics Top 50 Hospital for cardiovascular care, Morton Plant has also received the Society of Thoracic Surgeon’s highest level of recognition, a three-star rating. For more information, visit the Center for Advanced Valve and Structural Heart Care at Morton Plant Hospital or call 855-448-2583.

About Morton Plant Hospital
Since 1916, Morton Plant Hospital has been committed to improving the health of all we serve through community-owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Our 687-bed hospital is proud to offer nationally recognized care delivered in more than 50 specialty areas. Morton Plant Hospital offers innovative, accessible, and quality services to provide our community with a lifetime of compassionate, convenient care. For more information, call (727) 953-6877, or visit us on Facebook or at 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater, Fla. 

About BayCare Health System
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 14 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at