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Southside clinical trial helps patients avoid open-heart surgery


Southside Hospital successfully implanted Abbott's Tendyne Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR) system as part of a clinical trial to replace a leaky mitral valve without open heart surgery – the first such procedure in the Northeast.

A leaky mitral valve, or mitral regurgitation (MR), results in blood flowing backwards and leaking into the left atrium of the heart when the heart is contracting, leading to heart failure. One way that mitral regurgitation was alleviated before this clinical trial was through open-heart surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve.

Abbott's investigational Tendyne system replaces the leaky valve without open-heart surgery to correct this issue. The minimally invasive device is the first that can be repositioned and fully retrieved, allowing more precise implantation and helping improve patient outcomes. Robert Kalimi, MD, vice chair of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Southside Hospital and member of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, is the principal investigator of the TMVR trial. Lawrence Ong, MD, chair of cardiology at Southside Hospital and Feinstein member, is the co-investigator.

"We are excited to partner with Abbott on this opportunity to offer patients an innovative therapy for severe mitral regurgitation as an alternative to more invasive open heart surgery," Dr. Ong said.

The first patient to have the TMVR procedure was Phil Piazza, a 76-year-old Plainview resident who began experiencing back and jaw pain along with shortness of breath three years ago. Signs of a potential leaky valve, these symptoms worsended.

Mr. Piazza's research led him to cardiologist William Breen, MD, who referred him to Drs. Ong and Kalimi.

"I was totally at ease with Dr. Kalimi during our consultation," Mr. Piazza said. "Everyone, from the support staff to the surgeons, was magnificent."

Now recovering from the procedure, Mr. Piazza is looking forward to getting back to his part-time security job, as well as gardening and inshore fishing.

"It is great to see that our first patient is doing so well after this procedure and was able to avoid having open heart surgery to fix his mitral regurgitation," Dr. Kalimi said.

Called SUMMIT, the clinical trial is expected to enroll more than 1,000 patients at 80 sites throughout the US, Canada and the EU to evaluate if treatment with the Tendyne TMVR system is safe and effective for patients suffering from severe MR. If you would like to participate, contact Christina Brennan, MD, vice president of clinical research at Northwell Health, at (631) 968-3016 or [email protected]

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 665 outpatient facilities and more than 18,500 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

About the Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein Institute includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit

Alexandra Zendrian
(516) 350-3014
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