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The Most Experienced TAVR Facility in the Midlands

Reaching a significant milestone in comprehensive cardiovascular care for the people of our community, Lexington Medical Center has become the most experienced hospital in the Midlands for transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. The procedure allows doctors to replace the heart’s aortic valve with a catheter instead of open heart surgery.

Lexington Medical Center is celebrating the one-year anniversary of beginning its TAVR program. So far, the hospital has performed more than 60 TAVR procedures, more than any other hospital in the Midlands. TAVR is considered the greatest advance in cardiology since coronary angioplasty.

Currently, TAVR is for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are high-risk candidates for open heart surgery because of their age, history of heart disease, or other health issues.

Lexington Medical Center's TAVR Team. L to R: Jeffrey Travis, MD; Robert Malanuk, MD, FACC; Kristen Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN; Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC; Dee Prastein, MD

Lexington Medical Center’s TAVR Team. L to R: Jeffrey Travis, MD; Robert Malanuk, MD, FACC; Kristen Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN; Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC; Dee Prastein, MD

“We feel so lucky to be able to help these people, many of whom are debilitated by heart failure and did not have any good options in the past,” said Dr. Robert Leonardi of Lexington Cardiology at Lexington Medical Center, who works with a team of clinicians on the hospital’s TAVR team.

Patients with severe aortic stenosis have a narrowed aortic valve that does not allow blood to flow efficiently. As the heart works harder to pump enough blood through the smaller opening in the valve, the heart eventually becomes weak. Over time, that can lead to life-threatening heart problems.


To replace the diseased aortic valve with TAVR, the new aortic valve is compressed into a catheter. Doctors thread the catheter through the body to the inside of the diseased aortic valve.

Then, they deploy the new valve inside the diseased aortic valve, which becomes the anchor for the new valve. The new valve is functional immediately and normal blood flow is restored.

Lexington Medical Center performed the first fully percutaneous TAVR procedure in South Carolina. With this minimally invasive technique, doctors deployed the new aortic valve through just a small puncture in the femoral artery in the leg. The hospital also performed the first TAVR procedure in South Carolina where the patient was awake, and it remains the only South Carolina hospital routinely doing the procedures fully percutaneously, without putting patients to sleep, and without the need for a transesophageal echocardiogram. This “minimalist” approach has been shown to make recovery from valve replacement easier.

Lexington Medical Center hosted a reception on the hospital campus in May with patients who underwent TAVR, clinicians and hospital employees.


To learn more about cardiovascular care at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/heart

LMC Opens First Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in Irmo

With a strong commitment to meeting the needs of heart patients in our community, Lexington Medical Center has opened a new, state-of-the-art cardiac rehabilitation program on the Lexington Medical Center Irmo campus. The 2,500 square foot facility located inside the Irmo Medical Park at 7033 St. Andrews Rd. is the first cardiac rehabilitation facility in the Irmo area.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to optimize a cardiac patient’s physical, psychological and social functioning, in addition to stabilizing, slowing or even reversing the progression of cardiovascular disease.

People who benefit from cardiac rehabilitation include patients with a history of heart attack, angioplasty or stenting, heart valve surgery, heart transplant, angina, heart failure or heart bypass surgery.

Mark Stout inside LMC's Cardiac Rehabilitation facility in Irmo

Mark Stout inside LMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation facility in Irmo

Studies show that cardiac rehabilitation participants experience a 31 to 46 percent reduction in death rates compared to non-participants. They also have a reduction in symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue. And they report increased energy, improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, quicker returns to work and leisure activities, and a lower chance of experiencing another cardiac event.

“We’re bringing a great service to the people of the Irmo community,” said Mark Stout, supervisor of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Irmo. “If it’s more convenient, patients will attend more often. The medical professionals with expertise in cardiac rehabilitation are close to your home and your activities.”

Lexington Medical Center has offered cardiac rehabilitation at the main hospital in West Columbia for more than 20 years and at the hospital’s community medical center in Lexington since 2002.

Along with closely monitored exercise training, there are education classes addressing topics such as heart disease risk factors, healthy nutrition, weight management, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, managing diabetes, and understanding stress and your emotions.

“Cardiac rehabilitation provides better outcomes and better quality of life,” Stout said.

The need for heart care is clear in our state and our community. In South Carolina, one out of every three deaths is related to cardiovascular disease.

For more information about Cardiac Rehabilitation at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/heart.

Heart & Sole Pictures!

There was a record crowd at the Lexington Medical Center Heart & Sole Women’s Five Miler on Saturday, April 25. More than 1,300 women participated, including more than 400 Lexington Medical Center employees. Here are some employees on Team LMC along the course!