Aurora Health Care Heart Experts Among First in Nation to Implant New Heart Valve to Treat Aortic Stenosis

Aurora St. Luke's one of first three facilities in nation to implant recent FDA-approved Medtronic CoreValve Evolut PRO

April 05, 2017

MILWAUKEE – Aurora Health Care and Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, a national leader in heart and vascular services, became one of the first hospitals in the United States to implant a new device recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat severe cases of a common heart condition that impacts people as they age.

Dr. Daniel O’Hair, Dr. Tanvir Bajwa and the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) team at Aurora St. Luke’s became the third hospital in the nation and the first in Wisconsin to implant the new Medtronic CoreValve Evolut PRO, a new valve approved by the FDA on March 22, 2017, for symptomatic patients with aortic stenosis that are at high or extreme risk for open heart surgery. The implant occurred on Monday, April 3, 2017.

The new CoreValve Evolut PRO is recapturable and repositionable and furthers patient outcomes by offering a more complete seal at the implant site.

Through the minimally invasive TAVR procedure, the team uses a catheter to guide a new valve through a patient’s artery or a small incision in the chest. The valve is then deployed when in place, opening up and sealing to the heart walls, essentially replacing the deteriorated aortic valve in patients.

The procedure takes less time than open heart surgery, and patients recover faster due to the lesser impact on the body.

Aurora St. Luke’s TAVR team has performed more individual procedures than nearly any other team in the nation, with more than 1,100 cases in less than five years. Due to the clinical team’s experience and overall knowledge of the procedure, the hospital was selected as the only hospital outside of the two primary investigator sites, Yale New Haven Hospital and NYU Langone Medical Center, where the Evolut PRO clinical trial analysis occurred.

“To be one of the first hospitals in America to implant this new device, just weeks after FDA approval, is a testament to the depth of our experiences as national heart center,” said Daniel O’Hair, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon and co-vice president of Aurora Heart and Vascular Services. “We’re proud that our program continues to be the benchmark for excellence both in Wisconsin and across the nation, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring the best in new technology to patients who can most benefit from it.”

 Aortic stenosis impacts more than 1.5 million Americans each year, with some 500,000 being considered severe. Patients with the condition experience improper flow of blood from the heart, causing the left ventricular of the heart to work harder, which can lead to chest pains, fatigue, problems breathing and much more. Without treatment, the condition can lead to rapid deterioration of health and death.

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center is a leader in the treatment option. The hospital has been named a Center of Excellence for this type of therapy by Medtronics, and the hospital has also been at the forefront of clinical trials to bring this valve technology to the market prior to FDA approval in November 2011.

The hospital marked its 1,000 procedure milestone in December 2016.

 To learn more about the TAVR procedure, visit


About Aurora Health Care:

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin-area health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Aurora is Wisconsin's most comprehensive health care provider and the state's largest private employer. Aurora serves more than 1.2 million patients every year via a comprehensive network of facilities, services and providers, including 15 hospitals, more than 150 clinics, more than 70 pharmacies and more than 32,000 caregivers. As evidenced by more than 300 active clinical trials, Aurora is dedicated to delivering innovations to provide the best possible care today, and to define the best care for tomorrow. Get helpful health and wellness information via the Aurora MyHealth blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our Pinterest account.

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