Three RWJUH Patients Celebrate Successful Same-Day Discharge after Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

New Brunswick, NJ – In a single day, three patients underwent heart valve replacement surgery on the same morning at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick and were discharged home later in the day. All three patients suffered from aortic stenosis and underwent successful transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) allowing for an immediate alleviation of symptoms and a rapid recovery period that made same-day discharge possible.

Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and serious heart valve diseases, which results from narrowing of the aortic valve opening. As the condition progresses, the patient will experience symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and loss of consciousness. If untreated, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis can be fatal.

The TAVR procedure is a minimally invasive approach to treating severe symptoms of aortic stenosis, and typically takes less than one hour.

“Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital continue to serve as a national leader in treating valve disease. Our focus on less invasive approaches and rapid recovery have helped us maintain outcomes that far exceed national benchmarks in safety, life expectancy, and risks of complications,” said Dr. Leonard Y. Lee, Chair and Professor of Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

As healthcare facilities nationwide continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, minimally invasive procedures such as TAVR make it possible for patients to receive lifesaving care, recover faster, and spend less time in the hospital.

“During a time when some patient patients have been hesitant to visit a hospital to receive needed cardiac care, these three patient success stories serve as an example of the ways in which RWJUH is committed to new methods of care that reduce time spent in the hospital and improve patient safety and outcomes,” said Dr. Mark J. Russo, Chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery, Director of Structural Heart Disease, and Associate Professor of Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “TAVR remains a complex procedure, and therefore patients require close monitoring. Conventionally, most patients undergoing TAVR require a night in the hospital. However, given new technologies including telehealth options, such as continuous, remote cardiac monitoring and virtual medical consultation, we can continue to monitor our patients even from a distance.”

Using preoperative and postoperative telehealth visits to provide easy access to health care professionals and limit time in the hospital is one of the many measures RWJUH is taking to ensure patient safety through the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, RWJUH is testing all patients and staff for COVID-19 and has implemented streamlined pre-admission testing; in-hospital temperature screening check points with no-touch thermometers; and rigorous sanitization procedures, including Tru-D UV Light Disinfection.

The three procedures were conducted by Drs. Mark Russo, Leonard Lee, Hiro Ikegami, Ashok Chaudhary, and Ankur Sethi, Mohammed Haris Umer Usman, Antonio Chiricolo, and Chunguang Chen

To learn more about TAVR, please visit rwjbh.org/TAVR.