Establishment of a transcatheter aortic valve program and heart valve team at a Veterans Affairs facility

Am J Surg. 2012 Nov;204(5):643-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.07.017. Epub 2012 Aug 24.


Background: The US Food and Drug Administration recently approved a transcatheter aortic valve for patients for whom open heart surgery is prohibitively risky.

Methods: A multidisciplinary heart valve team partnered with administration to launch a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program. Clinical registries were used to show robust valve caseloads and outcomes at our Veterans Affairs (VA) facility and to project future volumes. A TAVR business plan was approved by the VA leadership as part of a multiphase project to upgrade and expand our surgical facilities.

Results: The heart valve team completed a training program that included simulations and visits to established TAVR centers. Patients were evaluated and screened through a streamlined process, and the program was initiated successfully.

Conclusions: Establishing a TAVR program at a VA facility requires a multidisciplinary team with experience in heart valve and endovascular therapies and a supportive administration willing to invest in a sophisticated infrastructure.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Valve
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / economics
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Endovascular Procedures / economics
  • Endovascular Procedures / instrumentation
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / economics
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / instrumentation
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Hospitals, Veterans* / economics
  • Hospitals, Veterans* / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Program Development / economics
  • Program Development / methods*
  • Texas
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs