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Edward Hospital Among First in Nation to Use Innovative Technology to Treat Aortic Stenosis

March 13, 2023 | by Mark Goodwin, M.D

Edward Hospital in Naperville is one of only four hospitals in the U.S. to be selected as a site for use of the OpSens SavvyWire, the world’s first sensor-guided TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) wire. This technology enables surgeons to perform TAVR procedures more safely and efficiently.

Edward Hospital, part of NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health, is known as a regional and national leader in cardiac innovation and was selected as one of the nation’s first hospitals to use SavvyWire, in part, because it performs more TAVR procedures than any other healthcare provider in Illinois.

TAVR is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for patients with a condition called aortic stenosis. This is when the aortic valve narrows severely and restricts blood flow from the heart’s lower left chamber, requiring the heart to pump harder. This can damage the heart over time and lead to serious health problems.

“In the past, the only way to fix a severely narrow valve was open heart surgery,” says Mark Goodwin, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Midwest Cardiovascular Institute and System Medical Director, Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center, Edward-Elmhurst Health. “Some people still get open heart surgery, but more people get TAVR.”

During a TAVR procedure, surgeons replace the narrow valve by inflating the existing valve and placing the new valve inside it. However, if they inflate the valve while the heart is beating, the heart will “spit out” the new valve. Surgeons must place a temporary pacemaker in the heart to pace it at 180 beats per minute for ten to fifteen seconds in order to deploy the new valve.

Prior to SavvyWire, surgeons accessed the narrow valve through two wires passed through the groin: one to place the pacemaker and the other to place the new valve. With SavvyWire, surgeons can use the same wire that deploys the new valve to also safely and efficiently pace the heart. This means surgeons only need to use one wire to perform the entire procedure.

“We can provide a safer and more efficient procedure,” says Dr. Goodwin. “Anytime you make a procedure simpler, it’s always better for the patient.”

While surgeons are not trying to race through the surgery (“This is not NASCAR,” says Dr. Goodwin), the procedure with SavvyWire only takes 30 to 45 minutes. Patients typically go home the following day.

Approximately 99% of TAVR procedures at Edward Hospital are successful. Through early 2023, the hospital has successfully used the SavvyWire during TAVR procedures on 26 patients.

“Edward Hospital is fortunate to be one of the clear leading innovation centers in the country,” says Dr. Goodwin. “With SavvyWire, our goal is to continue to lead in cardiac innovation, both locally and nationally.”

Learn more about cardiac care at Edward-Elmhurst Health.