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Presbyterian Performs 200th Procedure For High-Risk Heart Patients

February 28, 2017


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –Three years ago, Presbyterian Hospital became the first in New Mexico to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) to patients who suffer from severe aortic stenosis (AS). Symptoms of severe AS include chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting and fatigue.

Recently, a multi-disciplinary team including board-certified Cardiac Surgeon Robert Gallegos, MD, Interventional Cardiologists Kayvan Ellini, MD and Sharif Halim, MD, performed their 200th TAVR procedure, an exciting achievement for this team and for Presbyterian.

“This is a huge milestone for Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care, for our patients and their families and for the state of New Mexico,” said Dr. Gallegos. “Many of these patients were not eligible or were at high risk for open-heart surgery. TAVR gives them an option they never had before.”

“The goal of TAVR is really to improve our patients’ overall quality of life and survival,” he added.

Dr. Ellini stated, "Having helped start the Presbyterian TAVR program (the first in New Mexico) in 2013, I'm proud to see how far our program and this remarkable technology has grown.”

TAVR is a minimally-invasive procedure that replaces the aortic valve with a prosthetic valve via the femoral artery in a patient’s leg rather than with open-heart surgery.

“I am very proud of the team we have built and the services we are able to offer at Presbyterian Hospital,” said Dr. Robert Federici, Medical Director, Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care. “We have a highly-skilled, dedicated team that continuously strives to improve the way we care for our patients.”


About Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Presbyterian Healthcare Services exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system of eight hospitals, a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Founded in New Mexico in 1908, it is the state’s largest private employer with approximately 12,000 employees.

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Kerri Dufault
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