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Geisinger Medical Center Performs 1000th TAVR Procedure

Geisinger Medical Center’s (GMC) structural heart disease team recently performed its 1000th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) at the hospital.

TAVR is a less-invasive approach to treating diseased and narrowed aortic valves (aortic stenosis). Physicians can replace a diseased valve without performing open-heart surgery. Instead, they insert a small, thin tube (catheter) into an artery in the groin and feed a new, collapsed valve to the heart where it is deployed to regulate blood flow.

Unlike traditional heart valve surgery, known as surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), TAVR requires only a small puncture and allows for quicker recovery and shorter hospital stays.

“We developed the first program in the region to offer TAVR, and we’ve been performing the procedure longer than any other health system in northeastern and central Pennsylvania,” said Shikhar Agarwal, M.D., interventional cardiologist at GMC. “Performing 1,000 procedures is an achievement that displays our deep experience and specialized expertise. We’re making better health easier by treating a wide range of patients with aortic stenosis and getting them back to their active lifestyles quickly.”

Geisinger began offering TAVR in 2011 when the procedure was approved for patients in need of valve replacement but at high risk for complication with SAVR. Since then, the treatment has been approved for patients at moderate and low risk, and the TAVR program has grown to care for patients at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre and Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton.

Patients with valve disease are evaluated by Geisinger’s heart valve team to determine the best therapy for each patient. For many patients, including those who have more than one damaged valve or coronary artery disease, SAVR is still the most appropriate and safest treatment. But TAVR is now a proven option, producing positive health outcomes in patients of all risk levels with the added benefits of faster healing and discharge processes.

“Reaching this milestone is a testament to the proficiency our team has built over the last 11 years and the trust we’ve earned in the communities we serve,” said Dr. Agarwal. “I’m grateful for the hard work and compassionate care of every member of the structural heart disease team, past and present, whose dedication and service to our patients has led this program to where it is today.”

Geisinger to Open ConvenientCare and Lab Facility in South Abington

Geisinger is opening a new ConvenientCare and medical lab facility at 631 Northern Blvd. in South Abington Township. The new location, called ConvenientCare South Abington and Geisinger Medical Labs South Abington, will open to patients on Tuesday, July 5. Patients can expect the same high-quality care with improved access and more convenience.

The new opening will relocate the existing ConvenientCare Clarks Summit location from inside Weis Markets and the Clarks Summit Medical Labs location on State Street. Geisinger has invested approximately $1.1 million into the 6,000-square-foot facility and will occupy the entire first floor of the building. The location combines ConvenientCare and medical lab services in one place, expanding to six exam rooms and three draw stations.

“We are happy to announce the opening of this new location to better serve those that live in our community and come to Geisinger for care,” said Kathy Lloyd, associate vice president of regional operations and ConvenientCare. “It’s a new, larger and updated facility that’s easier to access. And by providing urgent care and lab services in one location, it’s making better health easier for our patients.”

ConvenientCare will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The medical lab will be open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 6:30 to 11 a.m. Geisinger’s ConvenientCare locations are walk-in clinics for family healthcare needs, including treatment of common illnesses, physicals and immunizations. No appointment is necessary, and care is available to anyone 12 months and older.

Patients can reach ConvenientCare South Abington at 570-587-2290 or by clicking here. To reach Geisinger Medical Labs South Abington, click here or call 570-587-1874.