The James Family Heart Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has reached another milestone. YRMC’s Heart Center recently performed its first transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR)—an emerging and highly complex heart valve surgery procedure.

“Very few heart centers in Arizona, the region or even nationwide have the advanced technology, medical expertise or state-of-the-art facilities necessary to perform TMVR,” said Soundos K. Moualla, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Interventional Cardiologist and Director, YRMC’s Structural Heart Program. “We are fortunate that YRMC’s Heart Center has all three components and we were prepared to offer this procedure to our patients.”

The TMVR was performed in YRMC’s Hybrid Operating Room, recognized as among the best in the nation. The following Heart Center experts – along with staff from the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Cardiovascular Surgery – collaborated before, during and after the procedure:

  • Soundos K. Moualla, MD, FACC, FSCAI
  • Jose E. Torres, MD, FACS
  • George Gellert, MD
  • Saina Attaran, MD, MRCS, FRCS
  • Daniel Beck, MD
  • Gwen Rhodes, RN

TMVR is necessary when the mitral valve – located between the left heart chambers (left atrium and left ventricle) – cannot undergo valve replacement surgery and the patient is considered too high-risk for re-do surgery. TMVR candidates may suffer from dysfunction of an existing biological mitral valve, either mitral valve regurgitation or mitral stenosis, and a host of complicating conditions.

During TMVR, the mitral valve is removed and replaced with a mechanical valve or a biological tissue valve from a pig, cow or human heart tissue (organ donor).

“These are people with severely compromised health,” Dr. Moualla said. “They may have already undergone numerous surgeries and procedures. The common denominator is their need for the team approach and evaluation, and the technology available at the James Family Heart Center at YRMC.”

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