Skip to main content


Thomas Caranasos, MD, Michael Yeung, MD, and John Vavalle, MD, perform the first TAVR procedure at UNC.

Dec. 15, 2014

In November 2014, James Aspell of Durham became the first patient at UNC to receive a new heart valve using transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR.

TAVR is a new technology that provides minimally-invasive aortic valve replacement for many patients who previously had no other options or were at high risk for conventional open heart surgery.

Medical directors of UNC’s TAVR program are Thomas G. Caranasos, MD, assistant professor in the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery; and John P. Vavalle, MD, and Michael Yeung, MD, both assistant professors of medicine in the UNC Division of Cardiology. Cassie Ramm, RN, is nurse coordinator for the TAVR program. For more information, email or call 1-800-806-1968.