Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute Receives Transcatheter Valve Certification from American College of Cardiology

Mar 01, 2022

Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute has been recognized by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) with the Transcatheter Valve Certification. This mark of distinction recognizes Willis-Knighton’s TAVR program structure, workflows and outcomes are exceptional and best practice in treating patients with valve disease using innovative, minimally invasive procedures.  

The transcatheter valve certification was awarded following a months long process. Willis-Knighton’s structural heart and valve program was evaluated for its ability to meet high standards for multidisciplinary teamwork, formalized training, shared decision-making and high quality performance as measured in national registries.

“It is an honor to receive the transcatheter valve certification from the American College of Cardiology highlighting our TAVR program,” said Chris Sale, corporate administrator. “This certification recognizes the outstanding collaboration and high quality, patient centered care provided by our experienced team at the Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute.”

Willis-Knighton was the first health system to offer TAVR in North Louisiana. The procedure treats aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart valve that often leads to symptoms such as shortness of breath, lightheadedness and fatigue. A prosthetic valve is guided through a catheter and positioned to replace an aortic valve that is not functioning correctly. TAVR has a shorter recovery time than open-heart surgery, the traditional method of valve replacement, and gives patients a much-improved quality of life.

The TAVR procedure was initially offered as an alternative treatment for all patients who were not candidates for open-heart surgery due to their age or risk for complications. Since then, it has become a desirable treatment for lower-risk patients as well.

The TAVR team at Willis-Knighton includes interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and other practitioners and clinical staff who work together before, during and after the procedure.

“This certification reflects  the dedication of our team,” said Kathy Walker, director of the Heart & Vascular Institute. “It is very rewarding to see them recognized for their commitment to this program and the patients in our community.”