First-in-man TAVR Aortic Valve Heart Procedure Offers Potentially Life-saving Option, says Henry Ford Cardiologist

August 30, 2017


DETROIT A pioneering Henry Ford Hospital cardiologist says a promising new heart valve procedure may offer hope to many patients with aortic valve disease.

Adam Greenbaum, M.D., co-director of the Center for Structural Heart Disease at Henry Ford Hospital, says the “BASILICA” procedure he helped develop with University of Washington and the National Institutes of Health is a potentially life-saving development in cardiology.

“We continue to work hard for patients who have been told they’re out of options,” Greenbaum said. “It’s problem-solving to save lives, and we’re thankful to have the opportunity to do that at Henry Ford Hospital and with our friends in medicine across the country.”

Dr. Greenbaum attended the first two BASILICA procedures performed in July. He then performed the third procedure in the world on July 20, 2017 in Detroit. The 74-year-old suburban Detroit grandmother was discharged a few days later.

The acronym BASILICA stands for Bioprosthetic Aortic Scallop Intentional Laceration to prevent Iatrogenic Coronary Artery obstruction. The BASILICA procedure is used during an aortic valve replacement, or TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement). For TAVR, doctors place a catheter inside the heart and use a balloon to open a new valve inside the native aortic valve.

But in some patients with a particular heart anatomy, the native valve’s leaflets block the flow of blood to the coronary arteries as the new valve’s scaffolding opens. The complication is fatal unless corrected and is prevented during traditional open heart surgery by cutting away the native valve itself.

The BASILICA procedure solves this issue during TAVR. The cardiologist weaves an electrified wire the size of a sewing thread through a catheter and uses it to slice the patient’s native aortic leaflet. The slice prevents the flap from blocking critical blood flow through the heart when the doctor deploys the new valve.

The first two procedures attended by Dr. Greenbaum were performed by cardiologist Danny Dvir, M.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Also attending were National Institutes of Health interventional cardiologist Robert J. Lederman, M.D. and NIH fellows Jaffar Khan, BM BCh and Toby Rogers, PhD, BM BCh, all who helped develop the procedure.

This slicing of a heart valve leaflet was first performed in man for similar issues in a mitral valve on May 25, 2016. That procedure, which Drs. Greenbaum, Lederman and Khan helped develop, is called LAMPOON, or ‘Laceration of the Anterior Mitral valve leaflet to Prevent Outflow track ObstructioN. Dr. Greenbaum attended the initial LAMPOON at Emory University by cardiologist Vasilis Babaliaros, MD, before performing the second procedure in man in Detroit on June 8, 2016. Since then, cardiologists have performed about 20 of the highly specialized, successful procedures – about half at Henry Ford Hospital and half at Emory University in Atlanta.

“Both of these procedures are in their infancy but show exciting promise,” Greenbaum said. “It’s gratifying to develop and share advances in medicine that can save lives across the United States.”

Drs. Greenbaum and Lederman are best known in cardiology for developing and performing the first transcaval access procedure in man, a novel way to access the heart by connecting blood vessels in the abdomen. A multi-center study of the procedure recently reported a 98% success rate for the procedure, and it is now garnering attention from cardiologists around the world.

Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with heart valve disease annually. With an aging population that is often too frail for open-heart surgery, more than 20,000 Americans die of the disease each year, according to the American Heart Association.

For more information on heart valve replacement, or an appointment, call (313) 916-1878 or visit

Tammy Battaglia
Henry Ford Health System
[email protected]
248-881-0809 cell/text