Mission Hospital Expands Heart and Vascular Institute with TAVR: An Innovative Heart Valve Replacement Procedure

Jim Gardiner and Interventional Cardiologist Sanjay Bhojraj, M.D.

MISSION VIEJO (December 5, 2019) – Mission Hospital today announced it has expanded its comprehensive Heart and Vascular Institute to offer the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure. The minimally invasive procedure is a remarkable alternative to open-heart surgery for patients in need of aortic valve replacement.

“TAVR is just one of many innovations within our Heart and Vascular Institute,” said Interventional Cardiologist Sanjay Bhojraj, M.D., “This game-changing technology will improve the quality of life for many in our community, and it demonstrates our commitment to providing world-class heart care right in our backyard.”

TAVR is performed when a patient suffers from aortic valve stenosis, a condition which obstructs blood flow from the heart to the aorta and can lead to shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, leg swelling, heart failure and death. Without treatment, many patients with severe aortic stenosis experience a significant decrease in their quality of life, and are at risk of cardiac arrest.

Additionally, open-heart surgery is not always an option for patients. “Though surgical results are typically excellent, many patients are not surgical candidates,” said Cardiothoracic Surgeon,  Sevak Darbinian, M.D., “TAVR is an effective option that allows patients to get back to their lives quickly.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Sevak Darbinian, M.D.

Thanks to the efforts of Bhojraj and Darbinian, who championed the development of the TAVR program at Mission Hospital, the community of South Orange County now has access to this life-saving treatment right near home. 

Laguna Niguel resident Jim Gardiner was the first patient to undergo the TAVR procedure at Mission Hospital. “I couldn’t handle long walks without having to stop and rest and I couldn’t do my favorite activity – playing golf, any more. I just ran out of gas,” he said. Now fully recovered, Jim is back on his feet and ready to hit the golf course. “I was so impressed with the doctors and nurses at Mission Hospital. They took superb care of me every step of the way.”

TAVR involves repairing the aortic valve by inserting a collapsible replacement valve into the heart through a catheter via an incision in the leg or chest. The procedure is overseen by an interventional cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon and last approximately two hours. Patients are typically on their feet within hours of the procedure and able to return home the next day.

“Our dedicated team of caregivers has worked collectively for several years to bring our TAVR program to fruition,” said Susana Robison, director of the Heart and Vascular Institute. “We know this program will improve the quality of life for many, and it’s our honor to offer this service to the community.”

About Mission Hospital

Mission Hospital is a state-of-the art, 523-bed acute care regional medical center in Mission Viejo, California. As one of the busiest designated adult and pediatric Level II Trauma Centers in the state of California, Mission Hospital provides a full range of reputable specialty health care services with highly skilled teams treating a multitude of complex conditions. Services include a full range of expertise in cardiovascular, neuroscience and spine, orthopedics, cancer care, women’s services, mental health and wellness, head and neck, and a variety of other specialty services. Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach provides South Orange County coastal communities with 24-hour emergency and intensive care as well as medical-surgical/telemetry services, orthopedics, general and GI surgery. CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital is a 54-bed facility that is the area’s only dedicated pediatric hospital.

Fully accredited by The Joint Commission and designated as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence, Mission Hospital is highly recognized for its high quality of care, evidenced through a multitude of healthcare quality benchmarks. Mission Hospital is part of St. Joseph Health, a not-for-profit provider of integrated health care. Together, we work to improve the quality of life in the communities it serves in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. For more information, visit www.mission4health.com.


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The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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