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On May 2, patients and their families reunited with the TAVR team at Overlake to share how their lives have been changed and improved by the procedure.

Breaking Down Barriers to Give Patients Better Care

Overlake treats more than 70 patients with minimally invasive procedure

Up until a few years ago, people who suffered from dangerous narrowing of the aortic valve and were not candidates for open-heart surgery had no real options. About half of these patients—usually older and in fragile health—had up to two years to live.

Ron Aviles, MD; Stan Brandt, Overlake’s first TAVR patient; Scott Haugen, MD.

Ron Aviles, MD; Stan Brandt, Overlake’s first TAVR patient; Scott Haugen, MD.

Fast-forward to Dec. 10, 2013, when Stanton Brandt became the first patient at Overlake Medical Center to undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This procedure uses a catheter to replace a patient’s aortic valve with an artificial valve. TAVR gives patients like Brandt new hope and a better quality of life because it vastly improves the ability of their hearts to function.

TAVR helps patients who have narrowing of the aortic valve, called aortic stenosis, which is usually caused by calcium buildup or scarring that restricts blood flow through the heart and can lead to heart failure. The procedure is a less invasive alternative for patients who have severe stenosis of the aortic valve but are not favorable candidates for conventional surgery.

TAVR is part of the Heart Valve Program at Overlake Medical Center and Overlake Medical Clinic, and is a collaborative effort with Group Health Physicians. This collaboration has resulted in a cohesive team dedicated to providing safe and effective care to patients suffering from advanced valve disease. The Heart Valve Program was the first to offer TAVR on the Eastside in the Seattle/Puget Sound region.

The Overlake-Group Health heart team is unique in Washington state. The coordination results in exceptional care because the team draws upon a range of expertise, says Ronnier Aviles, MD, who, with Scott J. Haugen, MD, is co-medical director of the TAVR program. “When you break down barriers and work as teams, patients get better care,” Dr. Aviles says.

Since that first procedure on Brandt, the Overlake TAVR team has treated 70 patients and was on track to treat 77 by the end of July.

“I feel blessed to have been guided to the doctors I had, and the nurses, and everyone involved with the procedure,” says Brandt, who celebrated his 91st birthday this year on Feb. 11.

For more information, call 855-895-VALV, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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