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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Lake Charles Memorial offers transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and became the FIRST certified TAVR program in the nation, per the American College of Cardiology (ACC). TAVR is approved for patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis as an alternative to open heart surgery. The procedure is also an option for some patients who previously had an aortic valve replacement, but now need a new one.

The program was also the first in the nation to receive the Transcatheter Valve Recertification in January 2022 based on evaluation of the staff’s ability to meet standards for multidisciplinary teams, formalized training, shared decision-making and registry performance.

What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis occurs when calcium builds up within the aortic valve, limiting the valve’s ability to open and close. As the condition progresses, the valve opening narrows, obstructing blood flow and forcing the heart to pump harder. The progression of aortic stenosis cannot be reversed or stopped, but requires surgical intervention to treat.

Current AHA/ACC Guidelines indicate a valve replacement for a majority of symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis. Without aortic valve replacement, this disease is life-threatening, and studies have shown that patients have a survival rate as low as 50 percent at two years after the onset of symptoms.

What is TAVR?

Lake Charles Memorial offers TAVR with the Edwards SAPIEN 3 valve and the Edwards SAPIEN 3 Ultra valve. This procedure involves a small incision in a blood vessel in the leg (other options can be used, such as the arteries in the neck or chest). A small tube (catheter) is then advanced through the blood vessel and into the heart. This tube carries the new valve into the right position, and places the new valve inside of the old valve. Unlike traditional open heart surgery, the heart is not stopped or put on a bypass machine for this procedure. Patients are typically discharged home 1 or 2 days after the procedure and have minimal restrictions afterwards.

TAVR was initially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 as an alternative to open heart surgery in patients who were considered to be high-risk. Continued advancements in technology and excellent results allowed for expanded approval in patients who are at low or intermediate risk for open heart surgery.

Our Team

Memorial’s heart team physicians consist of interventional cardiologists Edward Bergen, DO, and Christopher Thompson, MD, and cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Gregory Lugo, MD. Our multi-disciplinary heart team takes a rigorous approach to provide patients with an enriched and improved quality of life.

Our Credentials

While being first was not the goal, doing what we do well, implementing best practices, and achieving quality results is our priority. the 715 TAVR Programs nationally, Memorial’s Heart & Vascular Team was the FIRST to receive the ACC’s prestigious Transcatheter Valve Certification. That’s the importance of the ACC’s certification. It recognizes our commitment to the highest TAVR standards.


For more information, pleasecall our Valve Clinic Coordinator, Misty Theriot, RN, at (337) 494-4759.

If you are a provider and have a patient to refer for a TAVR evaluation, you may fax the referral to (337) 430-6950.

Additional information about aortic stenosis and the TAVR procedure, including videos and illustrations, can be found here.