NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A cutting-edge heart valve created to help patients with a narrowing of the aortic valve has been implanted for the first time in the state by doctors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Two minimally invasive heart valve replacements were implanted during a procedure June 26.

The LOTUS Edge Valve was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the hospital was the first of 10 across the country selected to use it, according to a statement released by the hospital.

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The LOTUS Edge Valve is a next generation transcatheter aortic valve replacement technology commonly referred to as TAVR, an FDA approved treatment for in individuals with aortic stenosis.

One of the most common and serious of heart valve diseases, aortic stenosis narrows the aortic valve opening and restricts blood flow. As a result of this insufficient blood flow is available to the other organs in the body. 

As the condition progresses, it can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and loss of consciousness.  If untreated, nearly all people severe symptomatic aortic stenosis die from this condition, according to the statement.

TAVR is a novel and but well-proven method for treating aortic stenosis.  During the procedure, a synthetic or artificial valve is collapsed and threaded through a blood vessel, usually through the groin, to the heart. Imaging technology is used to visualize the valve’s precise placement and then expands the new valve. It begins to function immediately and works like a normal valve that allows for proper blood flow through the chambers of the heart.

According to the statement, the valve is the only FDA-approved aortic valve that is 100% repositionable, which enables physicians to precisely place the new valve into an optimal position in the heart, thereby helping to improve outcomes for the patient. Delivered via a minimally invasive procedure, this TAVR technology is approved for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are considered high-risk for surgical valve replacement via open heart surgery.

The two procedures at RWJUH were conducted by Dr. Mark J. Russo, Chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery, Director of Structural Heart Disease and Associate Professor of Surgery at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Dr. Mohammed Haris Umer Usman from Monmouth Medical Center; Dr. Lenonard Y. Lee from RWJUH New Brunswick; Dr. Ashok Chaudhary from RWJUH New Brunswick; Dr. Bobby Ghosh from RWJUH New Brunswick; Dr. Abdul Hakeem from RWJUH New Brunswick and proctor, David Bersin.

According to Dr. Russo, the two patients are doing well and were able to return home within 48 hours after the procedure.

“As the first in New Jersey to implant the LOTUS Edge Valve, RWJBarnabas Health continues to serve as the state's premier TAVR program with outcomes that far exceed national benchmarks in safety, life expectancy and risks of complications,” Russo said. “With access to a continually increasing number of novel technologies, including the LOTUS Edge Valve, we can provide, safe, effective and more customizable therapies to address cardiovascular disease, including aortic stenosis.  This allow us to meet the needs of more patients and continually improve our already best-in-class outcomes.”

More information on the RWJBarnabas Health TAVR program can be found here.