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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

“Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is the most significant advancement in cardiology since coronary angioplasty.”

That’s what Lexington Medical Center cardiologist Dr. Robert Leonardi says about “TAVR,” a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to replace the heart’s aortic valve without open heart surgery.

In this video from WLTX, he explains TAVR.

Dr. Leonardi is one of the most experienced TAVR cardiologists in the Southeast and one of only a few fellowship-trained in transcatheter (non-surgical) valve procedures. A Greenville native, Dr. Leonardi earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He then completed an internal medicine residency at Duke University in Durham, N.C. and achieved board certification in this specialty. Dr. Leonardi finished his education with a cardiology fellowship at MUSC and fellowships in interventional cardiology and structural interventional cardiology at Emory University in Atlanta. He is also board certified in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular medicine.

By letting go of artificial boundaries between heart surgeons and interventional cardiologists, Lexington Medical Center is pleased to be using a collaborative, team-based approach to help patients with heart valve disease in our community. The team is made up of physicians from Lexington Cardiology and Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery. The hospital is proud to have performed the first fully percutaneous (no surgical incision) and first “awake” (without general anesthesia) TAVR procedures in South Carolina.

Dr. Leonardi is one of the 11 board-certified cardiologists at Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, dedicated to delivering the highest quality care in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Understanding Open Heart Surgery and Advances in Cardiac Procedures

Join Lexington Medical Center heart surgeon Jeffrey Travis, MD in Sumter on Tuesday, August 5 for a presentation called “Understanding Open Heart Surgery and Advances in Cardiac Procedures.” The event is part of Lexington Medical Center’s quarterly patient education series in Sumter, featuring medical topics that are important to our community.

Dr. Jeffrey Travis

Dr. Jeffrey Travis

“Understanding Open Heart Surgery and Advances in Cardiac Procedures” will take place on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. inside Sumter Cardiology at 540 Physicians Lane in Sumter. Light refreshments will be served. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Dr. Travis is a physician with Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. During his career, he has performed more than 1,000 open heart surgical procedures. Dr. Travis earned his medical degree at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and completed residencies in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Before joining Lexington Medical Center in 2012, Dr. Travis was a heart surgeon in Georgia.

A Duke Medicine affiliate, Lexington Medical Center began its complete cardiac care program in 2012. The hospital expected to perform about 100 open heart surgeries each year. But the program has far exceeded expectations. To date, the hospital has performed more than 500 open heart surgeries. The program has earned the highest designation given to hospitals – a three-star rating for heart surgery – from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). For the year 2013, only 15 percent of heart programs nationwide have achieved this prestigious level, which is a designation that recognizes quality and clinical excellence.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has developed a comprehensive rating system for the quality of coronary artery bypass surgery among hospitals across the country. Lexington Medical Center ranked in the highest quality tier for 2013, earning the three-star rating. The STS 2013 analysis included more than 1,000 heart programs nationally.

amberg_130115_269Lexington Medical Center has also earned full chest pain accreditation with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). To receive this accreditation, Lexington Medical Center demonstrated its ability to quickly assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. By becoming an accredited chest pain center, Lexington Medical Center has enhanced the quality of care for cardiac patients and showed its commitment to the highest standards.

The hospital has continued to build its heart program by offering a variety of new services including TAVR, a minimally-invasive technique that replaces the heart’s aortic valve through a catheter, closure of holes in the heart called atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovale (PFO), and insertable cardiac monitors that detect abnormal heart rhythms.

Lexington Medical Center’s work with cardiovascular care extends into the community with a robust heart education program. Heart disease is an epidemic in South Carolina. One out of every 3 people in South Carolina dies of cardiovascular disease. Lexington Medical Center is working to teach our community about risk factors, prevention and cardiac technology.

For more information about Lexington Medical Center’s heart program. visit LexMed.com. For information about the quarterly patient education series in Sumter, visit SumterCardiology.com

LMC Cardiac Rehabilitation Manager Earns Fellowship

John Leech, manager of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Lexington Medical Center, has become a Fellow of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The organization recognizes excellence, professional achievement and outstanding service in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.

Leech_JohnTo become a Fellow, applicants must meet criteria including submitting a resume with a record of distinguished service in the field of cardiac rehabilitation, peer recommendations and evidence of a high degree of professional development and commitment. A committee considers each application when selecting Fellowship candidates.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be recognized for my contributions to cardiac rehabilitation at the state and national level,” Mr. Leech said. “Becoming a Fellow in AACVPR has strengthened my commitment to provide our patients with the best possible care.”

As Cardiac Rehabilitation Manager at Lexington Medical Center, Mr. Leech’s primary goal is to create a program that helps patients recover from cardiac incidents and teach them necessary lifestyle skills to prevent future incidents. That includes exercise, healthy nutrition, smoking cessation, stress management and relaxation training. Mr. Leech provides cardiac rehabilitation staff members with the tools and support needed to ensure that the hospital’s patients have the best possible experience and that the program meets and exceeds national standards.

LMC_0182Mr. Leech has worked in cardiac rehabilitation since 1984 in Texas, Wisconsin and South Carolina. He chose his career path after his father passed away from a heart attack. In addition, several other members of his family have suffered from cardiovascular disease.

In a letter to Mr. Leech announcing his acceptance as a Fellow, AACVPR stated, “Your service to AACVPR, to your profession and to your affiliate organization, as outlined on your application, set you apart as a leader and outstanding professional in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.”

Cardiac rehabilitation is one component of Lexington Medical Center’s comprehensive cardiovascular care program. Affiliated with Duke Medicine, the hospital offers a full range of cardiac care including open heart surgery and therapeutic catheterizations. This year, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) awarded Lexington Medical Center the highest rating possible – a three-star rating – for its heart program. Only 15 percent of heart programs in the country have achieved a three-star rating this year.

Additionally, Lexington Medical Center has received full chest pain accreditation with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). To receive this accreditation, Lexington Medical Center demonstrated its ability to quickly assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. By becoming an accredited chest pain center, Lexington Medical Center has enhanced the quality of care for cardiac patients and has showed its commitment to the highest standards.