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Catheter-based valve replacement expertise grows across medical centers

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger’s structural heart disease program has completed its 2000th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure across three of its medical centers. 

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small puncture in the groin to insert a catheter into an artery and feed a collapsed replacement valve to the heart where it can be deployed to restore blood flow. The procedure allows physicians to replace diseased and narrowed aortic valves without performing open-heart surgery and leads to quicker recoveries and shorter hospital stays than its surgical alternative. 

Since launching their TAVR program in 2011 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Geisinger’s interventional and structural cardiologists have improved their delivery and grown their expertise to establish the health system as a leader in structural heart care in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. 

In that time, the procedure has evolved from being available only to patients with high risk of complications from surgery to being approved for patients at moderate and low risk. Structural cardiologists work with cardiac surgeons to evaluate patients and give the most appropriate recommendation for each specific case, empowering patients to be part of the decision-making process. 

The Geisinger Medical Center team performed its 1000th procedure in June 2022, and combined TAVRs from that hospital, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre and Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton have now doubled that milestone. 

“What’s truly impactful about completing this many TAVR procedures is how much we have improved our positive patient outcomes through this depth of experience,” said Shikhar Agarwal, M.D., Geisinger’s chief of structural heart disease. “By establishing uniform best practices across our system, we’re seeing significantly low rates of mortality, stroke and other complications.”

Beyond restoring patients’ quality of life quickly and with low risk of post-procedure complications, the milestone also highlights the availability of outstanding care across Geisinger’s service area. 

“It’s important to us that your geography is not a barrier to your care,” said Yassir Nawaz, M.D., director of interventional cardiology in Geisinger’s northeast region. “Our patients in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton get the same clinical expertise and excellence in care they would expect from our colleagues in Danville.”

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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