Generous support of the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute (SHVI) through The Campaign for Swedish helped Swedish become one of few sites in the country to utilize a life-saving new therapy for very ill patients this spring.

The Edwards Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve (TAVR) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2011 as a new,minimally invasive alternative for adult patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis who are too sick to undergo open-heart surgery to replace a failing valve. During the procedure, the TAVR device is inserted via the femoral artery in the thigh on a catheter that is pushed through the blood vessels until it reaches the diseased aortic valve. A balloon on the end of the catheter expands the new valve to the correct size so it will remain in position.

The first SHVI cases began in May at the Swedish Cherry Hill campus and yielded outstanding results, including a shorter hospital stay and impressive heart function improvements. While the future of the TAVR program at Swedish is exciting, the program’s initial start-up expenses would have made it very difficult to implement without the generous support of the community. More than $1.45 million in direct and indirect philanthropic support has been allocated to this important program to date, including $250,000 in Foundation funds used to purchase the first eight TAVR devices, as well as $202,000 in Foundation funds for DynaCT imaging equipment to help ensure proper device placement, and $1M for the John J. and Katherine A. Harnish Cardiovascular Hybrid Operating Room, the future home of TAVR and other procedures.

If you’d like more information about the TAVR program or other gift opportunities at the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute, please contact Colleen Bromen at 206.386.3527 or via email at colleen.bromen@swedish.org. Read more about TAVR.

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