Mercy Health - The Heart Institute's Minimally-Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement Program Reports Perfect Outcomes

Mercy Health - Cincinnati, which provides advanced, compassionate, quality care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that in 2015, Mercy Health - The Heart Institute's transcatheter valve team has achieved perfect outcomes for its patients.

"In 2015, we treated numerous patients with complicated aortic, mitral and tricuspid valve disorders. We enjoyed exceptional outcomes with 100% procedural success and no complications," said Daniel Eckert, MD, a cardiologist with The Heart Institute. "These outcomes are among the best in the country and highlight our commitment to providing cutting-edge technology with unparalleled safety to the community."

Transcatheter valve therapy is a minimally-invasive method of treating valve disease without open heart surgery. Instead of making a large incision in the chest, the medical team inserts a catheter into one of the leg arteries, which serves as a conduit to deliver the new valve. The new transcatheter valve is crimped very tightly on a balloon, advanced through the catheter to the diseased valve and deployed with balloon inflation. Upon deflation and removal of the balloon, the new valve is immediately functional and most patients experience instant clinical benefit.

"The procedure is becoming increasingly similar to cardiac catheterization as the technology continues to miniaturize and the technique matures," says Eckert. "Patients often undergo the procedure with conscious sedation (twilight sedation), similar to the sedation we use for a cardiac cath procedure or colonoscopy, eliminating the risks and recovery associated with general anesthesia."

Patients suffering from any valvular disease may be potential candidates for this approach. The team performs the procedure, which takes less than 60 minutes, in the cardiac cath lab and the procedure carries a very low risk of complications. Patients are generally ready for discharge within 48 hours and can expect a complete recovery within several days.

The procedure left Pat Mancuso, 87 and the former football coach of Princeton High School, "feeling like a new man. I work out three days a week and prior to the procedure, I was getting a little bit tired and out of breath. After the procedure, I feel great. I still work out three days a week and I do a little more now."

In terms of recovery, Mancuso notes that TAVR was "night and day" compared to bypass surgery he'd had previously.

Dr. Eckert is part of a multidisciplinary TAVR team that includes The Heart Institute cardiologist Jonathan Rapp, MD and Mercy Health - Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgeons William Cook, MD and S. Russell Vester, MD. They perform the procedure at Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital.

For more information about TAVR, please call Jami Heil, TAVR Program Coordinator, at 513-319-2450 or 513-751-4222.

Mercy Health – The Heart Institute has locations throughout Greater Cincinnati. For more information, please visit