Archive | February, 2019

Heart Disease Pop Quiz

When it comes to heart disease, how knowledgable are you? In this WIS-TV report, news anchor Dawndy Mercer-Plank asked community members in downtown Columbia questions about heart health. Then, Dr. Heather Currier, new cardiothoracic surgeon at Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, provided answers.

Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in America. in fact, it kills more people than many forms of cancer combined. A recent study from the American Heart Association showed that approximately 46% of American adults have some form of heart disease. In South Carolina, the most common heart surgery is coronary artery bypass. And, as the population grows older, valve replacement is becoming more frequent, too.

Lexington Medical Center wants you to “Just Say Know” to heart disease. To test your heart health knowledge with a quiz, visit LexMed.com/Know.

Meet the Patients: Aortic Valve Replacement with The Sentinel

We’re pleased to bring you a blog series called “Meet the Patients.” We share the stories of Lexington Medical Center patients whose experiences will educate and inspire readers about the outstanding care provided throughout our hospital network and the importance of modern medicine.

Horace Bush loves living in the peaceful Aiken County countryside.

Horace Bush

His days include walks to the pasture where he and his wife of 65 years have cows.

But last year, the 100 yard walk from his house to the barn became nearly impossible for him.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Mr. Bush said. “I was completely out of breath.”

At nearly 90 years old, his doctor in Aiken sent him to Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. Mr. Bush’s aortic valve was failing – and would need to be replaced.

TAVR

Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC, FSCAI, wanted to replace Mr. Bush’s aortic valve with transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Considered one of the most significant advancements in cardiology, this technology allows doctors to replace the aortic valve with a catheter instead of open heart surgery.

TAVR is for patients with severe aortic stenosis, a narrowed aortic valve that does not let blood flow efficiently. As the heart works harder to pump blood through the smaller opening in the valve, the heart eventually becomes weak.

The Sentinel placed in arteries above the heart

“Patients with severe aortic stenosis have a prognosis that’s worse that most metastatic cancers,” Dr. Leonardi said. “TAVR helps them feel better and gives patients a much better quality of life.”

Some patients undergoing TAVR are at a higher risk of having a stroke. Now, Lexington Medical Center doctors have a device called The Sentinel® to prevent that. The Sentinel is a basket that doctors place in arteries leading to the brain. It helps to prevent blood clots or plaque from going to the brain and causing a stroke during TAVR. The Sentinel is removed at the end of the procedure.

Mr. Bush was the first patient to have TAVR with The Sentinel at Lexington Medical Center. It was a complete success.

“I can never express my gratitude to the doctors,” he said. “Fixing my heart valve through a catheter is a new field – and I prefer what they did instead of having to go through open heart surgery.”

Notably, Lexington Medical Center performs almost all TAVR procedures in its cardiac catheterization labs while patients are awake. Doctors can talk to patients during the procedure and they typically go home from the hospital the next day.

That includes Mr. Bush.

Today, he’s back to walking to the pasture with ease – and no shortness of breath. And he said hospital staff treated him life family and provided unbelievable service.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 10+,” he said. “Those doctors are ‘outta sight.’”

For more information about Lexington Cardiology and Lexington Medical Heart Center’s structural heart program, visit LexMed.com.

Flu Cases Increasing in South Carolina

The number of reported flu cases in South Carolina is increasing this week. And to date, 39 people have died from the flu in our state this season.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms may include a sudden onset of fever, cough, headache or muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and nasal congestion or stuffiness. The flu is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

In this WIS-TV interview, Dr. Jared Stone, ER physician at Lexington Medical Center, talked about complications the flu can cause – and how to tell the difference between the flu and a cold.

Symptoms of the flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.

Most people who get flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications that can include pneumonia, sinus and ear infections, inflammation of the heart or brain, and organ failure. Flu also can make chronic medical problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have flu, and people with chronic heart disease may experience a worsening of this condition triggered by flu.

Importantly, it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is recommended for all people at least six months of age and especially for people at higher risk including the older population and people with chronic conditions.