Referring Physicians

Rex Team Offers TAVR Option for Aortic Stenosis

UNC REX Healthcare is excited to offer patients a new treatment option for severe aortic valve stenosis, a condition that numerous studies report is under treated. The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR, procedure (also referred to as TAVI, for “implantation”) is an alternative to open heart surgery and is appropriate for many patients who are not candidates for traditional surgery.

UNC REX Healthcare has assembled a transfemoral aortic valve replacement team to offer TAVR, a highly effective treatment option for selected non-surgical, high risk aortic valve patients.

TAVR procedures are performed in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Rex Healthcare’s main campus in Raleigh, N.C.

We welcome your questions and referrals: (919) 784-1321

Rex’s Transfemoral Cardiac Valve Team

Our Transfemoral Cardiac Valve Team includes highly experienced physicians, published researchers and medical educators. Their expertise spans from diagnostic to surgical innovations, and their specializations include:

  • Adult Echocardiography 
  • Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (CT)
  • Cardiovascular Disease 
  • Internal Medicine
  • Interventional Cardiology 
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nuclear Cardiology 
  • Nuclear Cardiology 
  • Nuclear Radioisotope 
  • Surgery
  • Thoracic surgery
  • National Board of Medical Examiners

TAVR and your patients

To refer your patients for evaluation for TAVR and other treatment options, please contact us at (919) 784-1321 or

TAVR will not be an option for all patients. Those who are clearly candidates for surgery should be referred directly for conventional aortic valve replacement surgery.

However, patients who are considered marginal or poor surgical candidates may find a higher degree of benefit from TAVR. Specifically, consider referring patients who are:

  • high risk
  • symptomatic
  • advanced age (>80)
  • and/or have commodities.

Aortic stenosis is undertreated

As reported by the PARTNER study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (October 2010), aortic stenosis is undertreated:

  • a minimum of 30 percent of all patients do not undergo surgery due to their age and other significant comorbidities
  • symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis carry a high risk of mortality, estimated at 50 percent at 2 years.

We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join us to work collaboratively to provide optimal care for patients with aortic valve stenosis.

PARTNER study leads FDA to approve TAVR

Based on landmark results of the PARTNER study (New England Journal of Medicine, October 2010), our team anticipated FDA approval for the TAVR procedure in late 2011. The PARTNER study evaluated Edwards Lifesciences’ SAPIEN heart valve system. While conventional aortic valve replacement therapy will remain the gold standard, this technology allows us to offer the public the first transfemoral aortic valve replacement approach.

The PARTNER study

PARTNER examined these patients, all deemed high risk for open heart surgery, with mean age of 83, 93 percent with NYHA Class III/IV symptoms, and often with depressed LV function. Researchers randomized the group to medical therapy or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Results of randomized trial:

  • As predicted, patients who received medical therapy had a 50 percent one-year mortality rate
  • Those who received TAVR had 30 percent all cause mortality at 1 year.
  • Among survivors, 75 percent in the TAVR group had class I/II CHF symptoms, while only 42 percent in the medical therapy arm did.

Call 911

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 immediately.

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Joy recalls how the nurses and physicians at UNC REX Healthcare saved her life when she woke up with heart pain in the middle of the night.

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