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TAVR Fellowship

Dr. Vasilis Babaliaros (left) and Dr. Vinod Thourani (right) have been working together to evaluate and refine TAVR since 2007.

Dr. Vasilis Babaliaros (left) and Dr. Vinod Thourani (right) have been working together to evaluate and refine TAVR since 2007.

Application Requirements

Applicants to the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Fellowship of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, must have successfully completed a cardiac surgery residency program, been involved in research during their residency, and have catheter experience via vascular surgery or cardiology rotations. Applicants who did not complete their residency in the United States must also have passed the USMLE I, II, and III exams and have an H-1B VISA.

Objectives

By completion of the program, fellows should be able to conduct the preoperative evaluation of transcatheter aortic and mitral valve patients, which includes compiling slides for every preoperative patient and presenting national clinical trial patients on adjudication calls. Fellows will learn to use and manipulate 3mensio imaging software for CT scan reconstruction and TAVR planning, demonstrate efficiency with percutaneous techniques such as mitra-clip, and become familiar with newly emerging tricuspid and mitral valve devices.

Fellows will be expected to perform TAVR procedures as the primary operator, and display facility with such alternative access approaches as direct aortic, transapical, subclavian, transcaval, and transcarotid sites. They will also participate in thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) procedures performed by staff cardiac and vascular surgeons.

Fellows will develop and demonstrate team leadership skills while collaborating with research staff and allied TAVR program personnel. Fellows will become comfortable with the the structural heart team's organization, interaction of disciplines, and function.

Fellows contribute to academic presentations at morbidity and mortality conferences and research conferences for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Clinical Responsibilities

Fellows participate in the care of inpatients, both on the ward and in the intensive care unit, and will be involved in outpatient clinic preoperative and follow-up care. Fellows assist on open cardiac surgery cases at least one-to-two days per week.

Take home resident call is one day a week, one weekend per month, and one holiday per year.

Case Volume

Fellows typically perform three TAVR cases as first operator on Tuesdays at Emory University Hospital Midtown, and three cases as second operator on Wednesdays at Emory University Hospital. Typically, there are at least one-to-three add-on cases per week at each campus. Fellows should expect six-to-ten total transcatheter cases per week, including TAVR, mitra-clip, mitral valve prosthesis, and tricuspid valve prosthesis.

Weekly Schedule

Monday: Heart team clinic, Emory University Hospital Midtown

Tuesday: TAVR cases, Emory University Hospital Midtown

Wednesday: TAVR cases, Emory University Hospital

Thursday: Open cardiac surgery cases, Emory University Hospital Midtown

Friday: Academic day, but may include open cardiac surgery cases, TAVR, or mitra-clip

Research

Fellows learn how to properly select and enroll patients in national clinical trials as well as inclusion and exclusion criteria for randomized and registry valve trials. They will actively participate in research that leads to oral and poster presentations at national and international meetings, and the publication of manuscripts, case reports, book chapters, and/or editorial comments.

Contact and Inquiries

Vinod H. Thourani, MD: Surgical Director, TAVR Fellowship

Vasilis C. Babaliaros, MD: Cardiology Director, TAVR Fellowship

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