Cooper’s Structural Heart Disease Program: “This Is a Totally Different World of Structural Heart Disease Treatment”

Advances in percutaneous and minimally invasive surgical techniques have revolutionized the way structural heart disease can be treated today – and Cooper is in the forefront of the revolution.

“This is a totally different world of structural heart disease treatment than existed even five years ago,” says Janah Aji, MD, Co-Director of Cooper’s Structural Heart Disease Program. “There are revolutionary new approaches for treating aortic stenosis and for preventing embolic disease in atrial fibrillation. We’re closing septal defects and paravalvular leaks. And the algorithm for treating mitral valve regurgitation is going to change dramatically in the next few years.

“For almost every structural heart problem that exists, we either have technology already available or under investigation here at Cooper,” he adds. “Our capabilities are unrivaled in southern New Jersey, and for the most exciting and progressive new technologies we are one of only two or three medical centers that can make them available between New York and Washington, DC.”

These capabilities include transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), in which a bioprosthetic valve is inserted percutaneously and implanted in the orifice of the native aortic valve. FDA-approved in the past year and a half for patients who are at high risk or ineligible for open heart surgery, TAVR improves quality of life and extends survival in a previously untreatable patient population. Although a number of hospitals now have TAVR, Cooper has done more procedures than any hospital in New Jersey and is one of only two sites in the Delaware Valley with the next generation, smaller, easier to deploy heart valve.

“For an 85-year-old with aortic stenosis who is now totally disabled, we have an option for getting them out of a wheelchair and giving both a longer as well as a better quality of life,” according to Sajjad A. Sabir, MD, Co-Director of Cooper’s
Structural Heart Program.

In fact, Cooper not only has performed more TAVR
procedures than any other New Jersey facility but is also ranked
11th in volume among 220 commercial TAVR sites in the U.S. Moreover, Cooper is the only hospital in the state participating in the PARTNER II clinical trial, making the next generation of TAVR technology available and extending its application to aortic stenosis patients at moderate risk for surgery.

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