Doctors Complete Fox Cities First TMVR Procedure at St. Elizabeth Hospital

Last week was a historical milestone for the structural heart program at the Heart and Vascular Institute of Wisconsin and Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital. On April 13th, a team led by Dr. Cherian Varghese and Dr. Zenoun Abouzelam completed the area’s first transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton.

TMVR is an FDA-approved procedure for patients with failing bioprosthetic mitral valves or rings. Similar to a TAVR procedure, doctors insert a catheter into a vein near the groin area and use advanced imaging technology to guide a prosthetic valve to the heart, where it can replace the failing valve.

Although these cases are much less common – many centers only perform 1-4 TMVR procedures each year – patients in Northeast Wisconsin now have access to this treatment locally, which is a huge win for the area.

“The procedure went very well, and the team did an amazing job” said Dr. Varghese. “It’s exciting to be able to bring this kind of treatment to the area and help our local patients.”

For Lindsay Hall, the Structural Heart Program Coordinator at Heart and Vascular, this procedure was special to be a part of. “I have had the privilege of witnessing the tremendously positive impact our program has had on hundreds of TAVR patients and families in the area” said Hall. “We have such an innovative and collaborative team that is always seeking to expand minimally invasive options for our patients. Being able to offer TMVR in the Fox Cities just gives us the ability to help more patients than ever before.”


With roots in Appleton since 1968, the physicians and providers of the Heart and Vascular Institute of Wisconsin deliver compassionate care at six locations throughout eastern Wisconsin by using advanced and innovative technologies to provide patients with state-of-the-art treatments.