Innovative Procedures

Our mission is simple: build a healthier community. It’s what we’ve been doing for over 130 years, and today we’re doing it in more ways than ever before.

Innovative Heart & Vascular Procedures

TAVR – Minimally Invasive Valve Replacement

We are committed to providing our community with leading-edge cardiology care, including the groundbreaking and minimally-invasive TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedure.

Read more about the TAVR procedure below, or call (626) 397-2523 with any questions.

Leading the TAVR team at Huntington Hospital, Dr. Azhil (Alex) Durairaj, MD, interventional cardiologist, and Robbin Cohen, MD, medical director for cardiothoracic surgery (pictured), were the first in the San Gabriel Valley to perform the less invasive TAVR procedure.

TAVR is a minimally invasive replacement of the aortic valve. The TAVR procedure is a revolutionary new way to replace an aortic valve without a chest incision or the use of a heart-lung machine. Studies show patients who have received this new device not only live longer, but feel better, and significantly improve their quality of life.

The TAVR procedure is performed by our dedicated Huntington Hospital heart team using the Edwards SAPIEN 3 Transcatheter Heart Valve, an FDA-approved product. During the procedure, the team inserts a valve through a small cut in the patient’s upper leg. The valve is advanced on a balloon catheter through the artery toward the native valve leaving the new aortic valve inside the old one.

Critically, TAVR eliminates the need to open the patient’s chest or use a heart-lung machine used in traditional open-heart surgeries.

The groundbreaking TAVR technology benefits patients with significant medical issues in a minimally-invasive fashion. The aortic valve replacement procedure offers patients an alternative treatment option to traditional open-heart surgery.

Approximately 250,000 people in the United States suffer from severe aortic stenosis. Our team of aortic valve specialists provides the best medical care to treat these patients. Until now, there has been no effective, long-term treatment option to prevent or delay disease progression in elderly patients with deteriorating medical conditions who may be ineligible for traditional open-heart surgery. Our team will find the right solution for you.

WATCHMAN – Stroke Risk Treatment

Huntington Hospital is the only facility in the San Gabriel Valley to offer the FDA-approved WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) device for patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) as an alternative to the lifelong use of warfarin or novel oral anticoagulants (NOAC) for people with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem (also known as non-valvular AFib).

“The WATCHMAN device is a novel alternative for patients with non-valvular AFib at risk for a stroke, especially those with a compelling reason not to be on blood thinners. We provide over 2,000 catheterizations and electrophysiology procedures, and 42,000 non-invasive cardiac diagnostic procedures each year. I’m proud to now offer this safe and effective procedure to our patients seeking stroke risk treatment.”

Alex Durairaj, MD, medical director of Cardiovascular Services, Huntington Hospital.

Learn about WATCHMAN

The WATCHMAN device has been implanted in more than 50,000 patients worldwide and is done via a one-time procedure. It’s a permanent device that doesn’t have to be replaced and can’t be seen outside the body. The procedure is done under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Patients commonly stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day.

An estimated five million Americans are affected by AFib – an irregular heartbeat that feels like a quivering heart. (1) People with AFib have a five times greater risk of stroke (2) than those with normal heart rhythms. The WATCHMAN device closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots that can form in the LAA from entering the bloodstream and potentially causing a stroke. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin or NOAC.

Download these information guides to learn more about WATCHMAN, Atrial Fibrillation, and how to talk to your doctor about the best way to minimize your stroke risk.

For more information on the WATCHMAN device, please visit

The following three surgeons at Huntington Hospital are FDA and CMS qualified to perform WATCHMAN device implant surgeries.

Dr. Azhil “Alex” Durairaj
Dr. Mayer Y. Rashtian
headshot of Jaime Henriquez, MD
Jaime Henriquez, MD

FlowTriever® – Lifesaving Blood Clot Remover

Huntington Hospital was the first community-based hospital in the greater Los Angeles area to use FlowTriever® for the treatment of pulmonary embolism. The FlowTriever® is the first mechanical thrombectomy device FDA-indicated and purpose-built for the treatment of pulmonary embolism, removing large clots from big vessels such as the pulmonary arteries without the need for thrombolytic drugs and consequent ICU stay.

A pulmonary embolism is caused when blood clots break free in the deep veins of the body and travel through the venous system to become lodged in the pulmonary arteries. The blockage of blood flow results in right heart strain as the right ventricle is unable to push blood past the clot. In severe cases, right heart failure may occur leading to a fatal event.  

The FlowTriever® procedure is typically a one-hour, single-session procedure, performed under conscious sedation. The device’s mechanism of action is to disrupt and aspirate a clot using nitinol mesh disks and large lumen aspiration Triever® catheters to rapidly remove the clot and restore blood flow. Find a cardiologist affiliated with Huntington Hospital.