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Contact Information

Buffalo General Medical Center
100 High Street
Buffalo, NY 14203


DeGraff Memorial Hospital
445 Tremont Street
North Tonawanda, NY 14120


Gates Vascular Institute (GVI)
875 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY 14203


Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital
1540 Maple Road
Williamsville, NY 14221

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Cardiac Services
Structural Heart

A variety of structural heart procedures are performed at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute (BGMC/GVI). Your physician or cardiologist may send you for evaluation by our heart team for definitive diagnosis and treatment options.

Services Offered:

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) 

Buffalo General Medical Center/ Gates Vascular Institute (BGMC/GVI) is the first hospital in Western New York to perform Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Previously reserved for high risk patients, TAVR is now FDA approved for ALL patients. The TAVR team at BGMC/GVI has performed over 1,500 TAVR cases to date. Our team offers three different valve platforms and is involved in clinical research trials.

What is aortic stenosis?

In a normally functioning heart, blood travels from the left ventricle through the aortic valve and into the aorta where it will be carried throughout the body. Aortic stenosis - typically a disease of the elderly - occurs when the aortic valve narrows or doesn’t open and close properly, forcing the heart to work harder and much less efficiently. Due to the extra stress, the heart muscle weakens over time and the risk of heart failure increases dramatically.

What are the symptoms of aortic stenosis?

Symptoms of aortic stenosis may include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fainting. Studies have shown that, after the onset of severe symptoms, approximately 50 percent of patients will not survive more than two years without aortic valve replacement.

What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement?

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR, is a minimally invasive procedure in which an artificial aortic heart valve is guided through the femoral artery by catheter to the heart.

Who is a candidate for TAVR and how are they evaluated?

Anyone with aortic stenosis may be a candidate.

Eligibility screening begins with evaluation by a team of physicians in the Buffalo General Heart Failure Clinic. After that initial evaluation, a variety of tests are performed including: echocardiogram, cardiac CTA, transesophageal echocardiogram, lung function testing and evaluating the carotid arteries for blockages.

What is the average length of the procedure and hospitalization?

The TAVR procedure lasts approximately two hours. The majority of patients usually have a one night hospital stay.

Resources

Mitral Valve Repair

What is mitral regurgitation?

The mitral valve is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of your heart. In a normally functioning mitral valve, blood flows in a single direction between the left atrium and left ventricle. When your mitral valve’s two leaflets (or flaps) do not close properly, some blood flows backward through the valve back into the left atrium. This is called mitral regurgitation (or MR).

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of mitral regurgitation may include chest pain, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, dizziness and fainting. Studies have shown that, after the onset of severe symptoms, approximately 50 percent of patients will not survive more than two years without aortic valve replacement.

What are your treatment options?

Treatment for your mitral regurgitation depends on how severe it is and how sick you are. There are medications available to reduce symptoms, such as fluid buildup in the lungs, but no medication addresses the underlying problem with your mitral valve.

Mitral regurgitation itself can only be treated in two ways: mitral valve surgery or transcatheter mitral valve repair. You will be evaluated by a team of heart doctors to determine which option is right for you.

Mitral Valve Surgery: There are two types of surgery to treat degenerative mitral regurgitation: mitral valve repair or mitral valve replacement. Repair of the natural valve is preferred over replacement. If the valve cannot be repaired, it is replaced with an artificial valve.

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair: Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that may be an option for patients who are too sick for surgery (also referred to as being at “prohibitive risk” for surgery). Unlike surgery, this procedure does not require opening the chest and temporarily stopping the heart. In this procedure a clip will be implanted onto the center of your mitral valve. This reduces mitral regurgitation, and the valve continues to open and close on either side of the clip, allowing blood to flow through.

Who is a candidate for Mitral Valve Repair?

Anyone with mitral regurgitation may be a candidate.

Eligibility screening begins with evaluation by a team of physicians in the Buffalo General Heart Failure Clinic. After that initial evaluation, a variety of tests are performed including: echocardiogram, transesophageal echocardiogram, lung function testing and evaluating the carotid arteries for blockages.

Average length of stay?

The procedure lasts approximately two hours. The majority of patients usually have a one night hospital stay.

Tricuspid Valve Repair & Replacement

Currently accepting patients for trials. Please contact (716) 859-2401.

Transcatheter Left Atrial Appendage Closure for Atrial Fibrilation

What is Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAO)?

LAAO is a minimally invasive procedure to reduce stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation without the use of long-term blood thinners.

Who is a candidate?

Any patient with known atrial fibrillation whose doctor feels they are not a good candidate for long-term oral anticoagulation blood thinners.

Length of hospitalization?

The Left Atrial Appendage Closure procedure lasts approximately two hours. The majority of patients usually have a one night hospital stay.

PFO/ASD for Cryptogenic Stroke

Patients who have been diagnosed with a PFO or ASD (hole in heart) who have had a stroke without a known source may be eligible for a minimally invasive procedure to close the hole.

Please contact (716) 859-2401 for more information.

Alcohol Septal Ablation for Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy (HOCM)

HOCM is a congenital heart disorder that can lead to symptoms of congestive heart failure, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, leg swelling, fatigue, fainting and sudden cardiac death.

A minimally invasive treatment option is an Alcohol Septal Ablation. Please contact (716) 859-2401 for more information.

Contact Us

For more information on Structural Heart procedures, please contact us at:
Phone: (716) 859-2401
Fax: (716) 859-3765
Email: StructuralHeartCenter@kaleidehealth.org

Heart Team members

Vijay Iyer, MD, PhD, Director
William Morris, MD
David Zlotnick, MD
Hashmat Ashraf, MD
Gary Grosner, MD
Janerio Aldridge, MD
Awad El-Ashry, MD 

Rose Hansen, DNP
Gerald Colern, ANP
Sue DeMarco, AGNP
Tracee Heaton, FNP