Reinventing healthcare one patient at a time

Press Release

More Breakthroughs and Firsts for Ellis Cardiac Team

Monday, March 11, 2019

Ellis is First Hospital in Upstate NY to Complete Groundbreaking New Heart Procedures Using ‘Shockwave’ and ‘Sentinel’ technologies


SCHENECTADY, NY – Ellis Medicine was recently the first hospital in the region to complete a groundbreaking Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) using a new technology known as Shockwave – while the Cardiac Team achieved another first – performing a TAVR procedure using what’s called a Sentinel device.

Both the Shockwave and Sentinel are designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce risk during the minimally invasive TAVR heart valve replacement procedures.

“By investing in new technologies such as TAVR, Shockwave and Sentinel, Ellis Medicine continues to elevate the standard of heart care in the region and provide a superior patient experience,” said Dr. Stephen Piacentine, Medical Director of Cardiology for Ellis Medicine. “Ellis is proud to be the first in upstate New York to offer the TAVR using the new Shockwave and Sentinel technologies – another indication of how we’re offering cutting-edge and nationally recognized care in a community hospital setting.”

TAVR itself is an innovative alternative to traditional open-heart surgery aimed at cardiac patients who may be either at high risk or too fragile for more invasive surgery. Using a catheter to replace a failing heart valve, TAVR is much less invasive than open-heart operations. The procedure promises quicker recovery times; it is not uncommon for patients undergoing a TAVR procedure to be discharged within 36 hours – previously unheard of in heart valve replacement surgeries.

Additionally, Shockwave is another groundbreaking new technology that complements procedures such as TAVR by using sonic pressure waves to break up calcium build-up in arteries as an additional safety measure. Meanwhile, the Sentinel technology is offered in only select TAVR centers in the U.S. Sentinel utilizes multiple filters during the TAVR procedure and is designed to reduce the risk of stroke.

The development of the TAVR program at Ellis, along with the recent breakthrough procedures, was a collaborative effort that involved cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, the nursing staff and healthcare techs.

The Ellis cardiac and valve team successfully performed the first procedures using Shockwave and Sentinel technologies at the hospital. The team is made up of a collaborative group of nurses, healthcare techs and physicians, including  Dr. Peter Cospito, Dr. Satish Madiraju, Dr. Kyril Choumarov, Dr. Herb Reich, Dr. Saddam Abisse, Dr. Leslie Parikh, and others.

The TAVR program will treat high-risk and intermediate-risk patients with aortic stenosis (AS), one of the most common heart valve diseases. More than 2.5 million Americans over the age of 75 are affected by aortic stenosis annually. The condition, without treatment, is life-threatening. Many patients, however, are denied open-heart surgery – the traditional treatment for aortic stenosis – because of health issues or their age. Patients who undergo TAVR spend less time in the hospital and are able to recover more quickly and get back to their everyday activities.

“TAVR allows Ellis Medicine to help patients improve the quality of their lives, and even extend their lives. These patients will spend less time in the hospital and more time at home with their families,” said Dr. Madiraju following Ellis’ first procedures using Shockwave and Sentinel technologies.

 “All of us at Ellis are proud to bring this important advancement to our patients,” added Craig Johnson, RN, Director of Cardiovascular Services.

Dr. Herb Reich, Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery, said : “There is a clear need. If you look at all populations and ages, 5 million-plus Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease each year. Causes of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, are on the rise. Many patients, however, are undertreated, or go untreated altogether, and this is partly because there is a lack of available appropriate care in many areas. Adding TAVR to our nationally recognized cardiovascular service seeks to change that.”



Ellis Medicine is a 438-bed community and teaching healthcare system serving New York’s Capital Region. With five campuses — Ellis Hospital, McClellan Street Health Center, Bellevue Woman’s Center, the Medical Center of Clifton Park, and Mohawk Harbor — five additional service locations, 3,300 employees and more than 700 members of its medical staff, Ellis Medicine is proud to provide a lifetime of care for patients. Ellis offers an extensive array of inpatient and outpatient services — including cardiac, cancer, emergency, neuroscience, and women’s services.



Ellis Medicine | Newsroom

Ellis Medicine Media Inquiries

Media inquiries should be directed to the Communications Department at Ellis Medicine. The Communications Department is open and staffed Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The department can be reached by phone at 518.232.9288. If you leave a message your call will typically be returned within 24 hours.

All official communications regarding Ellis Medicine are arranged through the Communications Department. We look forward to working with members of the public and media organizations to provide accurate, up-to-date information about Ellis Medicine.


Ellis Medicine
1101 Nott Street
Schenectady, NY 12308