Establishment of a transcatheter aortic valve program and heart valve team at a Veterans Affairs facility

Faisal G. Bakaeen, Biswajit Kar, Danny Chu, Lorraine D. Cornwell, Alvin Blaustein, Glenn N. Levine, David Paniagua, Hani Jneid, Corey Jensen, Prasad V. Atluri, Carlos F. Bechara, Panos Kougias, Chris Pawlak, Biykem Bozkurt, Thomas A. Burdon, Blase A. Carabello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved a transcatheter aortic valve for patients for whom open heart surgery is prohibitively risky. Methods: A multidisciplinary heart valve team partnered with administration to launch a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program. Clinical registries were used to show robust valve caseloads and outcomes at our Veterans Affairs (VA) facility and to project future volumes. A TAVR business plan was approved by the VA leadership as part of a multiphase project to upgrade and expand our surgical facilities. Results: The heart valve team completed a training program that included simulations and visits to established TAVR centers. Patients were evaluated and screened through a streamlined process, and the program was initiated successfully. Conclusions: Establishing a TAVR program at a VA facility requires a multidisciplinary team with experience in heart valve and endovascular therapies and a supportive administration willing to invest in a sophisticated infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-648
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic stenosis
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement
  • Valve replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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