Northwestern Medicine celebrates 500 TAVR procedures

Chicago's Northwestern Medicine completed its mission to perform 500 transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) this summer, a milestone that makes it the first hospital in Illinois to do so.

The health system celebrated the accomplishment with more the 50 patients who received TAVRs, the health system said in a statement.

The program, which began in 2008 at Northwestern’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, was designed to help save and extend lives of those suffering from leaky heart valves. Charles J. Davidson, MD, chief of clinical cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a professor of medicine at the system’s medical school, was the first to perform the health system’s TAVR. He also performed the 500th procedure July 23.

“TAVR and our other transcatheter valve procedures offer patients—most who have no other option—a second chance at life,” Davidson said in a statement. “We have been privileged to be a leader in one of one of the greatest innovations in the history of cardiovascular care and treatment. Personally, it has been a joy and honor to watch these significantly ill patients thrive after their procedures.”

Just last week, Northwestern announced that it was the first hospital in Illinois to insert a TAVR in a low-risk patient, a move that has paved the way to performing the procedure on higher-risk patients.