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Am J Surg. 2012 Nov;204(5):643-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.07.017. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

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

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved a transcatheter aortic valve for patients for whom open heart surgery is prohibitively risky.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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