August 12, 2015

Des Moines, IA—Offering the latest heart valve technology, Iowa Heart Center and Mercy announces its first implantations of the newly approved CoreValve® Evolut R System. The CoreValve® Evolut R System is the first-and-only recapturable and repositionable device available in the U.S. approved for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in severe aortic stenosis patients who are at high or extreme risk for open heart surgery. Three procedures were performed recently at Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines by Drs. Atul Chawla, David McAllister and Marnix Verhofste.

 The CoreValve® Evolut™ R System replaces a diseased aortic heart valve through a minimally invasive procedure, without open-heart surgery and without surgical removal of the diseased valve. The device is typically inserted via an artery in the leg and then guided through the arteries into the heart. Once in place, the device expands and takes over the original valve’s function to enable oxygen-rich blood to flow efficiently out of the heart.

 “We have been implanting percutaneous aortic valves at Iowa Heart Center since 2011. The first were in research trials and now commercially, following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use,” said Iowa Heart Center valve clinic medical director Dr. Atul Chawla. “We continue to be involved in research trials evaluating use in lower risk patients, having performed our 200 case on August 12.”

 Iowa Heart Center physicians used first generation CoreValve® aortic valve implants as part of an international research trial studying the effectiveness of treating aortic stenosis using an artificial aortic valve and a minimally invasive surgical technique. The CoreValve System was implanted in more than 75,000 patients in 60 countries. Results from CoreValve® research were used to develop the new CoreValve® Evolut R System which was approved by the FDA. This new valve system allows repositioning of the implant before final release. This represents a big leap in catheter valve technology which will further revolutionize the treatment of patients with heart valve disease. “It is an exciting time in cardiology and we are honored to be able to be involved with this advancement in health care,” says Dr. David McAllister, interventional cardiologist. Iowa Heart is presently involved in percutaneous aortic valve research trials evaluating their use in low-risk aortic stenosis patients.

 Aortic stenosis is a common heart problem caused by a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve due to excessive calcium deposited on the valve leaflets. When the valve narrows, it does not open or close properly, making the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Eventually, this causes the heart to weaken and function poorly, which may lead to heart failure and increased risk for sudden cardiac death.

About Iowa Heart Center

Iowa Heart Center, one of the nation’s premier cardiovascular medicine practices, is an integrated service of Mercy Medical Center—Des Moines, which operates nine offices and more than 30 outreach clinics across Iowa. For more than 40 years, Iowa Heart Center physicians and staff have provided world-class heart and vascular care and disease prevention services to Iowans and their families. Iowa Heart is also involved in clinical research at the national and international level of emerging medical technologies.

About Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

Mercy operates two hospital campuses, along with more than 20 additional facilities that house more than 50 primary care, pediatric, internal medicine and specialty clinics. Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines is an 802-bed acute care, not-for-profit Catholic hospital founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893. Mercy is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines and is also one of the largest employers in the state – with more than 7,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians and allied health associates.  Mercy Medical Center–Des Moines is a member of Mercy Health Network and is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Englewood, Colo.  The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 105 hospitals and multiple other facilities and services.