DuPage Medical Group Enhances Structural Heart Disease Program

December 05, 2017

DOWN­ERS GROVE, Ill. - DuPage Med­ical Group, the largest inde­pen­dent, mul­ti-spe­cial­ty physi­cian group in the Chica­go area, con­tin­ues to invest in lead­ing-edge tech­nol­o­gy and emerg­ing treat­ment options in the field of struc­tur­al heart dis­ease to pro­vide high qual­i­ty care for patients. Struc­tur­al heart dis­ease refers to dis­or­ders of the valves and cham­bers of the heart that his­tor­i­cal­ly have been treat­ed with open-heart surgery. The mod­ern man­age­ment of struc­tur­al heart dis­ease uses min­i­mal­ly inva­sive treat­ment with catheters, avoid­ing the risk and recov­ery time need­ed for open-heart surgery. In March of 2015, DMG estab­lished its struc­tur­al heart dis­ease pro­gram. As a result of its suc­cess, DMG plans to con­tin­ue sup­port­ing its rapid growth.

DMG’s struc­tur­al heart dis­ease team is a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary group of board-cer­ti­fied car­di­ol­o­gists and advanced-prac­tice nurs­es who close­ly col­lab­o­rate in the man­age­ment of com­plex cas­es. Through care­ful eval­u­a­tion of patient data, and exten­sive review of CT and echocar­dio­graph­ic imag­ing, the team Is able to iden­ti­fy opti­mal treat­ment strate­gies and achieve supe­ri­or outcomes.

DMG’s struc­tur­al heart dis­ease team includes struc­tur­al inter­ven­tion­al­ists Drs. Ulrich Luft, Peter Ker­win and Govind Ramadu­rai; struc­tur­al elec­tro­phys­i­ol­o­gists Drs. Ahmad Abdul-Karim, Eugene Green­stein and Sunil Shroff; struc­tur­al imag­ing spe­cial­ists Drs. Sujith Kalathiveetil, Jor­dan Wein­stein, Kirkei­th Lerts­bu­ra­pa and Robert Elgar; and struc­tur­al coor­di­na­tors Kim Cros­by, APN, Sara Hor­vath, APN and Patri­cia Peter­son, APN, NP‑C.

TAVR Pro­ce­dure

One of the advanced treat­ment options pro­vid­ed by DMG’s struc­tur­al heart dis­ease pro­gram spe­cial­ists is TAVR (tran­scatheter aor­tic valve replace­ment). Aor­tic steno­sis is caused by nar­row­ing of the heart’s aor­tic valve, which can be fatal if left untreat­ed. TAVR is specif­i­cal­ly designed for those indi­vid­u­als who are at an increased risk for com­pli­ca­tions from the tra­di­tion­al­ly per­formed, and more inva­sive, SAVR (sur­gi­cal aor­tic valve replace­ment). In fact, TAVR may be the only treat­ment option avail­able in high-risk patients with aor­tic stenosis. 

Since the pro­gram’s launch in 2015, DMG Drs. Peter Ker­win, Ulrich Luft, Sujith Kalathiveetil, Govind Ramadu­rai and Robert Elgar have per­formed 163 TAVR pro­ce­dures. DMG’s struc­tur­al heart dis­ease team has a TAVR sur­vival rate of 99.3 per­cent, which exceeds nation­al­ly pub­lished benchmarks.

To deter­mine whether a patient is a can­di­date for TAVR, a struc­tur­al heart team com­prised of an inter­ven­tion­al car­di­ol­o­gist, car­diac sur­geon, car­diac imag­ing spe­cial­ist and TAVR coor­di­na­tor will all care­ful­ly eval­u­ate the patient, deter­min­ing the sever­i­ty of the aor­tic steno­sis and the safest strat­e­gy to treat it.


In addi­tion to TAVR, DMG’s struc­tur­al heart dis­ease pro­gram also offers an alter­na­tive pro­ce­dure for patients suf­fer­ing with atri­al fib­ril­la­tion through WATCH­MAN™. Atri­al fib­ril­la­tion is an abnor­mal heart rhythm, which can cause life-threat­en­ing strokes. Blood thin­ning med­ica­tions are used to pre­vent strokes in atri­al fib­ril­la­tion, but can cause seri­ous bleed­ing in some patients. WATCH­MAN™ is a one-time, min­i­mal­ly inva­sive treat­ment to pre­vent strokes from atri­al fib­ril­la­tion in patients who are at an increased risk for bleed­ing. WATCH­MAN™ is the only FDA-approved implant proven to reduce the risk of stroke for patients with non-valvu­lar atri­al fib­ril­la­tion. WATCH­MAN™ works by block­ing access to the left atri­al appendage (LAA), which is locat­ed inside the left atri­um of the heart. Research shows that more than 90 per­cent of stroke-caus­ing blood clots orig­i­nate in the LAA for indi­vid­u­als with non-valvu­lar atri­al fib­ril­la­tion. WATCH­MAN™ was recent­ly shown to both reduce stroke and mor­tal­i­ty when com­pared to blood-thin­ning med­ica­tions in patients who are at an increased risk for bleeding.

DMG Drs. Ahmad Abdul-Karim, Govind Ramadu­rai, and Sunil Shroff per­form the Watch­man implan­ta­tion and, over the last two years, have com­plet­ed more than 40 suc­cess­ful surg­eries. Drs. Eugene Green­stein, Ulrich Luft and Sujith Kalathiveetil will begin Watch­man implan­ta­tion this December.

Future Direc­tions

DMG will soon move into new fron­tiers in struc­tur­al heart dis­ease ther­a­py. In ear­ly 2018, DMG will begin implan­ta­tion of MITR­A­CLIP™, a min­i­mal­ly inva­sive treat­ment for patients with mitral regur­gi­ta­tion, who are deemed high risk for mitral valve surgery. DMG has also suc­cess­ful­ly per­formed two tran­scatheter mitral valve replace­ments (TMVR) in patients with fail­ing arti­fi­cial mitral valves. Through its planned con­tin­ued expan­sion into 2018, DMG’s struc­tur­al car­di­ol­o­gy pro­gram aims to enhance cross-col­lab­o­ra­tion efforts with­in the depart­ment and to grow the TAVR offer­ing into Chicago’s south sub­urbs and WATCH­MAN™ into the west­ern sub­urbs, pro­vid­ing cut­ting-edge struc­tur­al heart dis­ease treat­ments to all DMG patients. 

The DMG struc­tur­al heart dis­ease team strives to pro­vide the very best in car­diac care to its patients and we’ll con­tin­ue to expand our pro­gram,” said DMG Car­di­ol­o­gy lead­er­ship mem­ber, Dr. Son­jai Bha­tia. We are proud to con­tin­ue cul­ti­vat­ing our exper­tise into the fore­see­able future, and exe­cute our pro­ce­dures with crit­i­cal pre­ci­sion, achiev­ing high suc­cess and low com­pli­ca­tion rates.”

To learn more about DMG’s struc­tur­al heart dis­ease pro­gram, or to sched­ule an appoint­ment with a car­di­ol­o­gist to eval­u­ate heart health, patients can vis­it www​.duly​healthand​care​.com/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​s​/​c​a​r​d​i​ology.

About DuPage Med­ical Group

Found­ed in 1999, DuPage Med­ical Group is the largest inde­pen­dent, mul­ti-spe­cial­ty physi­cian group with more than 700 physi­cians in over 100 sub­ur­ban Chica­go loca­tions. DMG is a patient-cen­tered orga­ni­za­tion focused on improv­ing access to con­ve­nient, qual­i­ty health care using the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy and treat­ment options. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it www​.duly​healthand​care​.com.