Minimally invasive heart procedure now available to more Arizona heart patients

PHOENIX (Aug. 23, 2016) – Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix launches groundbreaking Partner 3 Trial and successfully treats its first low-risk Aortic Stenosis (AS) patient with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure.

Previously TAVR was only offered to high-risk patients that were too ill for open-heart surgery, accounting for only 6% of patients suffering from AS. With the launch of the Partner 3 Trial, the TAVR procedure is now a treatment option for the nearly 80% of low-risk patients suffering from AS.

“This is truly a groundbreaking trial,” said Ashish Pershad, MD, interventional cardiovascular fellowship program director at the nonprofit hospital. “Not only are we reaching the vast majority of patients suffering from this disease, but never before have we had an opportunity to measure the differences between TAVR and traditional surgery side by side. This study will show us through indisputable data if the less invasive approach is as safe as or possibly better than open-heart surgery.”

“The Partner series of clinical trials have always chosen high level, coordinated facilities,” said Kenith Fang, MD, Cardiothoracic surgeon at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. “We are truly honored to join the elite institutions across the nation as part of this study and offer the latest in cardiovascular treatment to the patients of Arizona.”

Patients enrolled in the Partner 3 Trial will be randomized to receive either the TAVR or open-heart surgery. To be eligible, patients must exhibit symptoms of severe AS and meet surgical risk scores as determined by a doctor. There is no age restriction for this trial. For more information, contact Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix valve coordinator at (602) 521-3151.

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is a large teaching hospital that has provided medical care to Arizona and the Southwest since 1911. It is part of Banner – University Medicine. The hospital specializes in heart care, cancer care, high-risk obstetrics, neurosciences and stroke care, organ transplants and Emergency care, including a Level 1 trauma center. Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 29 hospitals in seven states. The institution, which has trained thousands of doctors over decades as a teaching hospital with Graduate Medical Education programs, is now the academic medical center for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. For more information, visit

Editors note: As the study is randomized, some patients will have TAVR and others will receive open-heart surgery. On the first day of the study, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix’s team of physicians treated one patient with TAVR and one patient with traditional surgery.  Both patients and their doctors are available for interview for their unique perspectives based on their treatment modalities. Please coordinate interview times with Jen Fenter at (208) 659-9517 or