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Hershey Medical Center becomes first in region to offer latest Edwards Sapien heart valve device

The successful outcomes associated with the more than 600 patients treated for aortic valve disease with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center since 2014 have earned the hospital recognition among its peers. It is the first site in central Pennsylvania to use the Edwards Sapien 3 Ultra Transcatheter Heart Valve System for the procedure.

“TAVR is a minimally invasive option used to replace an aortic valve that fails to open properly, often due to a condition known as aortic stenosis in which the heart valve narrows, reducing blood flow to the body and making the heart work harder,” said Dr. Mark Kozak, interventional cardiologist and director of the structural heart disease program at Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute. “Our structural heart team has achieved outcomes that beat the national average in length of stay, bleeding complications and mortality for patients undergoing this procedure.”

It was that success that led Edwards Lifesciences to choose the institute as one of the first sites in the region to debut the latest evolution of its heart valve device, featuring a new design intended to reduce leaks around the valve.

A heart valve device called the Edwards Sapien 3 Ultra Transcatheter Heart Valve System is a small circular item with a wire mesh on the top half and fabric on the bottom half.

The Edwards Sapien 3 Ultra Transcatheter heart valve system

“We are not a cookie-cutter program, and that is what has led to our strong performance and made us worthy of the recognition to be first,” says Ashley Heatley, structural heart coordinator. “Using the knowledge and expertise of each team member, we determine what is the best, most appropriate intervention for the longevity of each patient.”

Members of the structural heart team represent interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac anesthesia and cardiac imaging.

“We truly are an interdisciplinary team,” Heatley adds. “We value the feedback of our entire team and take great pride in our exceptional patient outcomes.”

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