Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital successfully performed its 100th transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) procedure. This minimally invasive procedure is an alternative to open heart surgery for patients diagnosed with aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the valve that obstructs blood flow and can lead to heart failure. 

The milestone procedure was performed by regional medical director of cardiovascular surgery Lucas Duvall, M.D., and structural heart medical director Devang Parikh, M.D. The TAVI procedure eliminates the need for open heart surgery that comes with a traditional valve replacement. With TAVI, a physician accesses the aortic valve through the body via an artery, typically in the leg, and replaces it with a specially designed artificial valve. The procedure provides patients with less pain, faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays.


“We are incredibly proud of this milestone,” Duvall said. “This is just the beginning. This procedure expands the scope of the diseases we are able to treat here in The Woodlands with patients who want seek out health care in their local community.”


Houston Methodist uses a multidisciplinary approach to cardiovascular care. Initial discussions are between the TAVI team of  Duvall and Parikh, but there is also a weekly conference to discuss each case systemwide. It is as if you are getting a third, fourth or fifth opinion in one with the team approach.


“That takes bias out of the decision making. It allows us to keep an open mind about what the entire team feels is the safest approach to get them through the procedure with the best possible outcomes,” said Parikh. “Creating that multidisciplinary approach for the community is a resource that is not often seen. It has led to our outcomes being substantially better over time.”


Recovery from similar procedures previously took weeks or even months as it required open surgery. Now, with a minimally invasive procedure such as TAVI, patients are home and back on their feet the next day.


“I didn’t have a good experience, I had a great experience. [Houston] Methodist did a lot to get me prepared for this procedure,” said patient Jerry Sechelski. “I was so impressed with all the tests they did to get me ready; checking lungs, kidneys, everything. The procedure was virtually painless before, during, and after. I was ready to get up the same day. I got back to everyday activities basically the next day. Amazing procedure with amazing results.”


As a system, the Houston Methodist TAVI (TAVR) team has performed more than 2,000 TAVI (TAVR) device implantations, making Houston Methodist one of the most experienced teams in the nation.


The advantages of TAVI (TAVR) include:

• Improved recovery times

• Improved safety

• Shorter hospital stays

• Reduced chance of being admitted to the intensive care unit

• Effective treatment option for those who cannot undergo open surgery


Patients of the Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital have access to the hospital system’s clinical trials for a variety of heart valve therapies, expanding opportunities for new procedures and technologies close to home. To learn more, visit houstonmethodist.org/valve-clinic.