DR. MARK J. RUSSO, MD, MS

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Dr Mark J Russo, MD, MS

Heart Surgeon

Expert in TAVR

Dr Mark J Russo, MD, MS

Heart Surgeon

Professor of Surgery
Chief, Cardiac Surgery
Director, Structural Heart Disease
Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Expert in Valve Surgery, Complex Aortic Disease, TAVR, and Mitraclip

TAVR

What is TAVR?

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is a minimally invasive approach to the treatment of aortic stenosis.

In most patients (95%+), TAVR can be performed through a puncture in an artery in the leg (known as the femoral artery). During a TAVR procedure we dont stop the heart, we dont cut out the existing valve, we place the new valve inside the existing valve.

The TAVR procedure takes 30-60 minutes, and most patients (80+%) are discharged home the following day.

What should I expect?

The TAVR procedure typically takes less than 1 hour. The procedure does not require a breathing tube or general anesthesia. Patients often say they feel better immediately following the procedure. Patients are typically discharged home on the day following the TAVR procedure.

Patients have no new restrictions after the procedure, and there are no new medications that need be taken as a result of receiving the new valve.

What information is needed before I can undergo the procedure?

Evaluation includes non-invasive echo and CAT Scan assessment of heart function, the aortic valve, peripheral blood vessels, and the aorta. Typically, patients receive most of this testing in a single day.  

TAVR is NOT experimental. Its FDA approved for treatment of severe aortic stenosis and more than 500,000 TAVR procedures have been performed worldwide.

Who is a candidate for TAVR?

Conventional surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) continues to be associated with excellent outcomes. However, catheter-based procedures are available for nearly all types of patients, including patients who are considered low-risk for traditional surgical valve replacement.

TAVR is NOT experimental. TAVR is FDA approved for the treatment of severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. More than 500,000 TAVR procedures have been performed worldwide. Dr Russo is the among experienced TAVR surgeons in U.S., and the team at RWJ achieve outcomes that exceed national benchmarks.

Research studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, TAVR (aka TAVI) is associated with significantly improved survival, improved symptoms, and improved quality of life. In fact, patients undergoing TAVR were nearly twice as likely to be alive at 1 year compared with those who did not.

Dr. Russo is among the most experienced transcatheter surgeons in the United States, and he has taught these novel procedures to physicians thoughout the world.

Why TAVR at RWJ?

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system in New Jersey. Dr. Russo and his team:

  • maintain one of the largest TAVR experiences in United States performing more than 2000 successful transcatheter valve procedures.

  • achieve TAVR outcomes that among the best in the U.S. (30-day mortality: <2%; stroke risk < 1%)

  • is the only center in NJ and one of only a few sites in the U.S. to have access to the most advanced commercial and research devices. This allows offer the latest TAVR technology to a broader range of patients

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

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Recovery

Primary Benefits

Typical Patient

Frequently Asked Questions about Aortic Stenosis

Typically patients have no new restrictions after the procedure, and (unless a mechanical valve is placed) there are no new medications that need be taken as a result of receiving the new valve.

Although they vary by patient. The risks of both procedures are death, bleeding, stroke, infection, and vascular injury. In a typical patient the risk of anyone of these complication is less than 1-2%.

Ideally, patients should be treated within 1-3 weeks. Treatment of aortic stenosis is typically not an emergency. However significant delays can pose a risk of heart failure, hospitalization, and sudden cardiac death.

If untreated, 50% of patients with severe aortic stenosis die 18 months years after symptoms are detected. And if untreated ultimately nearly all patients die from this condition within 5 years.

The likelihood of need a valve replaced depends on age at the time of initial surgery (Ann Thor Surg, 2015):

For patients < 60 years, at :

  • 10 years, 5.6% (95% CI, 4.7 to 6.8);
  • 15 years, 20% (95% CI, 17 to 23); and
  • 20 years, 45% (95% CI, 39 to 52)


60 to 80 years old, at:

  • 10 years, 1.5% (95% CI, 1.3 to 1.7);
  • 15 years, 5.1% (95% CI, 4.4 to 5.8), and
  • 20 years, 8.1% (95% CI, 6.7 to 9.7)

  • at 80+ years: unlikely
  • Transthoracic echo
  • Gated cardiac CT
  • Pre-admission testing Cardiac catheterization — for some patients
  • Cardiac CT can be performed without the need for cardiac cath


Administrative staff will help find a date for treatment Nursing coordinatots will provide instruction on preparation

Commonly Performed Procedures

Minimally invasive valve surgery is a specialized approach to treating heart valve disease that avoids the need to “crack the chest.” This method uses sophisticated instruments to perform the surgery through a smaller incision at the side of the chest and offers the patients less pain and faster recovery. We perform nearly all of our isolated valve surgeries minimally invasively.

An aortic aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of main blood vessel in the body. The risk of aortic catastrophe, including dissection and rupture, increases dramatically with an aneurysm. Surgery may be recommended when the aorta is larger than 4.5-6 cms. Factors including family history, lifestyle, and need for other heart surgery guide decisions about surgery.​​

An aortic aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of main blood vessel in the body. The risk of aortic catastrophe, including dissection and rupture, increases dramatically with an aneurysm. Surgery may be recommended when the aorta is larger than 4.5-6 cms. Factors including family history, lifestyle, and need for other heart surgery guide decisions about surgery.​​


A “bypass” or “cabg” surgery is the most commonly performed heart surgery. It is necessary when the coronary arteries, which provide blood to the heart become narrow preventing sufficient blood from passing through, and thus depriving the heart of oxygen and nutrients. RWJUH has CABG outcomes that exceed national benchmarks.

When other treatments are insufficient, a heart transplant is a surgical procedure offered to patients with the most severe damage to the heart. RWJUH is one of a limited number of centers in the US that offer advance heart failure surgery, including heart transplant. Dr. Russo has participated in 500+ successful transplant surgeries.

When other treatments are insufficient, a heart transplant is a surgical procedure offered to patients with the most severe damage to the heart. RWJUH is one of a limited number of centers in the US that offer advance heart failure surgery, including heart transplant. Dr. Russo has participated in 500+ successful transplant surgeries.

Clinical Trials at RWJUH

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement vs OMM (randomized) for asymptomatic severe AS The EARLY TAVR trial (Edwards) looks at transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) as an effective treatment for patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis. Patients are randomized to either treatment with TAVR or clinical surveillance until the develop symptoms, at which point they are eligible to be treated with TAVR.  Read More

This study objective is to establish the safety and effectiveness of the Edwards SAPIEN 3/ SAPIEN 3 Ultra Transcatheter Heart Valve in subjects with moderate, calcific aortic stenosis. Patients are randomized to S3 TAVR device or medical management.  Read More

ALIGN-AR evaluates the safety and probable benefit of the transfemoral JenaValve Pericardial TAVR System in patients with symptomatic severe aortic regurgitation. Patients who are high risk for open surgical aortic valve replacement/repair are eligible. RWJUH is one of only 15 centers in the U.S. that can offer this therapy that has been granted a “Breakthrough Device Designation” by the US Food and Drug Administration. This designation is reserved for investigative therapies designed to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and where preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the therapy may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement for severe AS with a novel deviceEvaluates the safety and efficacy of Acurate (Boston Scientific) valve for transcatheter aortic valve replacement. For patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at intermediate or greater risk for SAVR. Patients are randomized to Acurate or commerical TAVR device. Read More

The study is a prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled pivotal clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the EVOQUE System with optimal medical therapy (OMT) compared to OMT alone in the treatment of patients with at least severe tricuspid regurgitation. Subjects will be followed at discharge, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months and annually through 5 years.

This study will establish the safety and effectiveness of the SAPIEN M3 System in subjects with symptomatic, at least 3+ mitral regurgitation (MR) for whom commercially available surgical or transcatheter treatment options are deemed unsuitable.

The SUMMIT-Tendyne trial (Abbott) evaluates the safety and effectiveness of using the Tendyne Mitral Valve System for the treatment of symptomatic mitral regurgitation or mitral annular calcification in patients who are not appropriate for conventional mitral valve surgery. In the randomized arm, patients are treated with either the Tendyne device or MitraClip, while patients in the non-randomized and MAC arms receive the Tendyne device.
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03433274

CLASP IID/F is a prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled pivotal trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of transcatheter mitral valve repair in patients with degenerative/functional mitral regurgitation with the Edwards PASCAL Transcatheter Valve Repair System compared with the commercially available device (Abbott MitraClip).

RESTORE is a prospective, multicenter, non-randomized trial designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the HARPOON™ Beating Heart Mitral Valve Repair System in patients with severe degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR).

To schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Russo,
please call 732-235-7231 or send an email.

PBS: Heart Disease OnCall

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Newest heart valve options

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Miracle transplant at RWJUH

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