JFK Medical Center
May 10, 2019

Providing treatment options for high-risk patients

Atlantis, Fl — The distinguished team of heart and vascular experts at JFK Medical Center recently became the first in the state of Florida to perform a new and innovative technique that prevents coronary artery obstruction during transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a rare but often fatal complication. The procedure is called, Bioprosthetic Aortic Scallop Intentional Laceration to prevent Iatrogenic Coronary Artery obstruction (BASILICA).

Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with heart valve disease each year and more than 20,000 die. Many seeking treatment are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery due to their age and frailty. For these patients, TAVR offers an effective and less invasive lifesaving alternative. During a TAVR procedure, doctors place a flexible tube, or catheter, inside the heart and use a balloon to open a new valve inside the existing aortic valve. However, in some patients with a particular heart anatomy, the native valve’s leaflets block the flow of blood to the coronary arteries as the new valve’s scaffolding opens. This complication can be fatal unless corrected and is prevented during traditional open heart surgery by cutting away the native valve itself.

The BASILICA procedure solves this issue during TAVR. The cardiologist weaves an electrified wire the size of a sewing thread through a catheter and uses it to slice the patient’s native aortic leaflet. This prevents the flap from blocking critical blood flow through the heart when the doctor deploys the new valve.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this to our patients who have been told they are out of options,” said Marcos Nores, MD, Medical Director of the JFK Heart and Vascular Institute.

For over thirty years, JFK Medical Center has been providing cutting-edge cardiovascular services to the community. JFK was a pioneer of the TAVR procedure in 2012 and has since performed over 1,200. Similar to TAVR, BASILICA offers hope to those high risk patients, transforming treatment options and effectively saving and extending their lives.