Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital now offers two options for transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR). Specialists with Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center successfully performed the procedure in multiple cases during the last month, taking a critical step forward in providing the community with advanced cardiovascular care.


TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure to correct aortic valve stenosis, a narrowing of the valve that obstructs blood flow and can lead to chest pain, exercise intolerance, heart failure and premature death. The procedure involves replacing the narrowed valve with an artificial one – without opening the chest cavity or stopping the heart.


“This technique is a giant step forward in improving patient experience and recovery,” said Dr. Lucas Duvall cardiothoracic surgeon at Houston Methodist The Woodlands. “We are able to access and treat the diseased valve through a catheter placed in one of multiple possible arteries, allowing us to safely treat a greater number of patients.”


TAVR is as safe as open-heart surgery and, in many cases, is now the best treatment option. Using an artificial valve made of metal alloy and animal tissue, it can improve survival and quality of life in people who are unable to withstand major surgery.


Dr. Devang Parikh, a structural heart specialist at Houston Methodist The Woodlands, teamed up with Duvall to perform the hospital’s first two procedures. Parikh joined Houston Methodist The Woodlands just last fall to help lead the hospital’s valve program. This leadership and growing program enables patients to receive their preoperative care and surgery on the campus.


“It is a huge achievement to offer two devices, so that we can tailor care for each individual patient,” Parikh said.


Sam Sakhleh, 75 of Spring, was the first person to have the TAVR procedure at Houston Methodist The Woodlands. Today, he is well on his road to recovery.


“I feel like a new person,” Sakhleh said. “Seeing the way other countries practice medicine through my business travels has given me a deep appreciation for my doctors and Houston Methodist The Woodlands. I am so blessed as a retiree to have a world-class facility with tier one doctors in my backyard.”


To learn more about the TAVR program, visit www.houstonmethodist.org/debakey/woodlands.