Doctors are First in Arizona to Perform New Heart Valve Replacement

Photo: Dr. Timothy Byrne and Dr. Merick Kirshner perform advanced procedures at Arbazo Arizona Heart Hospital.

Doctors at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital are first in Arizona to perform a new tricuspid heart valve procedure as part of an early feasibility study of the Intrepid™ Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Replacement (TTVR) system.

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is the only hospital in Arizona participating in the worldwide clinical study. The Intrepid TTVR system is an investigational device that received Breakthrough Device Designation by the FDA in late 2020.

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is the only hospital in Arizona participating in the national clinical study of the Intrepid tricuspid heart valve.

The tricuspid valve helps keep blood flowing in the right direction through the heart’s upper right chamber. The procedure is being studied for use in patients with severe, symptomatic tricuspid regurgitation, which may lead to eventual heart failure or death.

Tricuspid regurgitation affects approximately two million people in the United States. It is a highly undertreated disease due to the morbidity and mortality associated with surgical intervention, according to interventional cardiologist Dr. Timothy Byrne, medical director of Cardiology Services at Abrazo Health.

The device is implanted using a transfemoral delivery catheter, a minimally invasive method that allows physicians to position and place the valve through a catheter inserted in the femoral vein.

“A significant number of patients are affected by heart valve disease and tricuspid valve regurgitation. We are excited to be part of the research on this new device that could lead to possible future widespread treatment of those with this condition,” said Dr. Byrne.

“Much progress has been made with transcatheter replacement of diseased aortic valves, but whether we can replace the tricuspid valve without open heart surgery represents a new frontier in cardiology,” added Dr. Merick Kirshner, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital.

“Many of the patients needing tricuspid valve replacement are not good candidates for traditional surgical tricuspid valve surgery due to poor function of the right side of the heart and therefore considered high-risk patients,” said Dr. Kirshner.

“Outcomes data generated during this initial study phase will be useful for the future treatment of these patients. We are optimistic that this study will help lead to more clinical research and device innovation around this treatable disease,” added Dr. Byrne.

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital’s structural heart program offers options for patients with conditions that adversely affect the structure and function of the heart. The hospital’s physicians have participated in numerous clinical studies leading to approval and widespread use of new devices and procedures, such as TAVR – Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement.

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is the first hospital in the western United States to hold American College of Cardiology accreditation for cardiac catheterization, treatment of chest pain, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

For more information on cardiovascular services at Abrazo Health hospitals, visit AbrazoHealth.com.

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