The Cardiovascular Institute of Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center became the only site in Ventura County approved by the Food and Drug Administration to replace failing aortic heart valves in both high-risk and low-risk patients, using a minimally invasive procedure rather than traditional open heart surgery.

In 2014, Dr. Vishva Dev, Medical Director of Cardiac Services at Los Robles Hospital, performed the hospital’s first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, which was approved in 2011 for use in patients who are at high-risk for conventional surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). This minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it implants a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place via a catheter. Los Robles Hospital became the first hospital from Los Angeles to Northern California to offer the TAVR procedure.

Los Robles Hospital is currently participating in two valve replacement clinical trials – the Medtronic Low-Risk Trial, which aims to reveal outcomes of this minimally invasive alternative in low-risk patient populations, and the PORTICO IDE clinical trial which looks at the new valve technology in high-risk populations.

“Our participation in these important clinical trials has the potential to revolutionize cardiovascular surgical practices,” said Dr. Gregory P. Fontana, Director of the Cardiovascular Institute of Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. “The availability of this procedure to all patients means less-invasive and safer alternatives to those patients with aortic stenosis.”

The low-risk trial comes on the heels of data that showed that patients who underwent TAVR demonstrated superior survival benefits compared to patients that underwent SAVR. Through collaboration with leading clinicians, researchers and scientists worldwide, Los Robles aims to provide evidence that could expand access to TAVR patients and benefit the field of cardiovascular treatments across the country.

“I had no hesitations about having this procedure, and think that it’s important that we keep in mind that with age we can’t always rely on symptoms,” said recent TAVR patient, Charles Ullman. “I would strongly recommend approving this procedure for all patients.”

About Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center

Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center is a licensed 404-bed acute care facility. Fully accredited by The Joint Commission, Los Robles Hospital has the only Level II Trauma Center in Eastern Ventura County and the only Emergency room in both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties with the coveted EDAP (Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics) rating. In addition, it is the only hospital certified by both Counties as a STEMI-designated heart attack center for rapid heart attack response and is a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. With over 600 physicians on its medical staff, representing over 50 medical and dental specialties, Los Robles is proud to be the community’s most trusted resource for health and a regional destination for care.

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