Technological and research advances in heart and vascular care

Every day, we strive to improve patient outcomes by developing technology that supports cardiovascular function, making surgery less invasive and delivering real-time information through advanced imaging. Our research and passion have transformed several areas of cardiovascular care and treatment.

Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs)

Left ventricular assist devices, also known as LVADs, are small, implantable devices that support diseased or damaged hearts by circulating the blood with a small pump. Our doctors were instrumental in progressing research to successfully implant and manage LVADs, and we were among the first four hospitals in the world to perform this surgery.

We’re one of the top 10 surgical innovators in mechanical circulatory assist devices. We currently care for more than 100 people with LVADs, many of whom have been living with this technology for many years, and our patients have a survival rate of more than 90 percent at one year, with two-year survival rates trending in the same direction.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, also known as TAVR, is a procedure to treat patients with aortic stenosis who are too ill to undergo traditional surgery. Since participating in the initial 2007 study of TAVR, we have been a site for every major clinical trial for the procedure.

In 2016, we launched the nation’s first multi-institutional, FDA-approved clinical trial to evaluate the device’s benefits among low-risk patients at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. A separate international study of low-risk patients is underway at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

Heart attack treatment: Rapid communication from the field

Patients can count on rapid communication and seamless interaction among caregivers, from emergency transport to the operating room. Our cardiac team has a refined “Code Heart” approach to activate the catheterization lab team in an effort to minimize heart muscle damage in patients who are experiencing a heart attack.

Progressive cardiac imaging

Our cardiac imaging specialists are dedicated to advancing cardiac imaging in the areas of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) and nuclear cardiology. Continuing research provides our doctors with sharper, real-time imaging, quickly giving them vital information to make the best decisions for patient care.