Ground breaking cardiac surgery comes to WNY

Jan 25, 2012

Ground breaking cardiac surgery is being conducted right here in Buffalo.

A team of surgeons at Buffalo General Hospital last week successfully implanted a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in two patients who suffered from aortic stenosis, a disease that affects the valve between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta, the largest artery in the human body.

Dr. Vijay Iyer medical director of cardiology at Kaleida Health and assistant professor of medicine at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, led the surgical team.  Dr. Iyer appeared Wednesday morning appeared with the patients to talk about the procedure. 

Dr. Iyer said the procedure is a breakthrough in medicine and health care.

"It is new technology which puts us at the cutting edge," said Dr. Iyer.
The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is a minimally invasive procedure in which an artificial aortic valve is attached to a wire, guided through the femoral artery and placed inside a patient's heart.
Janice Savey of Olean and Robert Cecchini of Tonawanda are the first to undergo the procedure. Both are doing well.

Less than 10% of all hospitals in the nation offer this surgery.  Buffalo General is the first – and only – hospital in Western New York to perform transcatheter aortic valve replacement.