White Plains Hospital Launches Structural Heart Program with First Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Replacement Procedures


White Plains, N.Y. (December 6, 2023) – White Plains Hospital announced today the launch of the Montefiore Structural Heart Program at White Plains Hospital with the successful completion of its first three minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedures, known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements (TAVR). The procedures were performed by Dr. Azeem Latib, a leading expert in interventional cardiology and Director of the Montefiore Structural Heart Program at White Plains Hospital, in one of the Hospital’s state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratories, marking a key milestone in the growth of the Hospital’s advanced cardiac services.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Rachel Spallone, Dr. Robert Michler, Director of the Montefiore Cardiac Surgery Program at White Plains Hospital, and Dr. Azeem Latib, Director of the Montefiore Structural Heart Program at White Plains Hospital.

More than five million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease each year, including 1.5 million with aortic stenosis, or the narrowing of the aortic valve. This condition often appears in those 65 and older and deteriorates with age. Older patients with aortic stenosis and other congenital heart diseases can often benefit from a TAVR.

Dr. Rachel Spallone and Dr. Azeem Latib

The procedure, which typically takes less than an hour, involves specially trained cardiac interventionalists, in collaboration with world-class cardiac surgeons, using advanced imaging techniques to guide a flexible tube called a catheter through a small needle hole in the groin, up through the blood vessels, to the diseased aortic valve. The team then uses the catheter to deploy a new valve, immediately restoring function and blood flow. Patients are cared for by highly trained cardiac intensivists in the Hospital’s Cardiac ICU, and many of our patients go home the next day.

The deployment of the new valve immediately restores function and blood flow.

White Plains Hospital is one of just two healthcare facilities in Westchester offering this life-saving procedure to patients in Westchester County. Every patient is fully evaluated by a cardiac surgeon, interventional cardiologist, cardiologist and radiologist to determine the ideal course of treatment, whether that is a TAVR procedure or open-heart surgery. Also, with advanced imaging technology on-site – including high-resolution CT scanning, fusion imaging and cardiac MRI – patients can undergo convenient, same-day pre-operative testing at the Center for Advanced Medicine & Surgery (CAMS) in White Plains prior to the procedure.

The first TAVR procedures were performed at White Plains Hospital on December 5, 2023.

The addition of the Montefiore Structural Heart Program at White Plains Hospital builds on the success of the Montefiore Cardiac Surgery Program at White Plains Hospital, which has exceeded national benchmarks for quality with exceptional patient outcomes in the two years since its launch. The program was recently recognized with a distinguished 3-star rating, the highest available, from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, a designation that places it among the top 10% of programs for heart bypass surgery in the United States and Canada. White Plains Hospital’s cardiac care capabilities are further strengthened by its world-class Interventional Cardiology program and Cardiac Electrophysiology department, which is focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of arrythmias and other emergent cardiac issues. White Plains Hospital’s experts work closely with a network of cardiologists and specialists throughout the Hudson Valley to ensure each patient receives the specialized care they need, close to home.

“This program underscores White Plains Hospital’s commitment to growing its advanced cardiac services for patients across the Hudson Valley,” said Dr. Latib. “These expanded capabilities allow us to provide the most appropriate treatment based on our patients’ needs, whether they require open-heart surgery or a minimally invasive procedure like a TAVR. We are excited to begin performing these procedures and look forward to continuing to advance the Structural Heart Program at White Plains Hospital.”

To learn more about the Montefiore Structural Heart Program at White Plains Hospital, visit our website or call (914) 849-4200.


About White Plains Hospital  

White Plains Hospital is a proud member of the Montefiore Health System, serving as its tertiary hub of advanced care in the Hudson Valley. The Hospital is a 292-bed not-for-profit health care organization with the primary mission of providing exceptional acute and preventive medical care to all people who live in, work in or visit Westchester County and its surrounding areas. White Plains Hospital has outpatient medical facilities across Westchester, including multispecialty practices in Armonk, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Rye Brook, Somers and Yorktown Heights; and Scarsdale Medical Group locations in Harrison and Scarsdale.

The Hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and in 2023, White Plains Hospital received another 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — the highest distinction offered by that federal agency for the second consecutive year. In addition, the Hospital received its third Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a distinction held by only two percent of hospitals in the country. White Plains Hospital has consistently received the Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades®, and in 2022 became the only Hospital in Westchester to be awarded with an A Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group for the 9th time.