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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

Oh, Baby! Understanding Sleep Schedules and Vaccines

Dr. Jeremy Crisp of Lexington Family Practice Northeast, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, was a guest on WLTX this week to talk about common questions parents have about their young children. During their morning newscast, he answered questions from news anchor Ashley Izbicki about several topics.

In this segment, he offers tips for establishing a sleep schedule with an infant.

In this segment, he talks about the importance of vaccines and they dangerous diseases they can prevent.

Think Fast: How to Help Someone Who is Choking

This week, WIS-TV interviewed Dr. Don Moore of Lexington Medical Center’s Urgent Care in Irmo about how to help someone who is choking. The segment is below. The information is very valuable in a situation where you have to think fast.

Here are some notes from the doctor:

~When someone is choking, they will not be able to talk.
~Ask the person to try to cough.
~If the person cannot cough, try an abdominal thrust. From behind, put a clenched first above the person’s belly button and place your other hand over it. Pull up as if you were trying to lift the person off the ground, which will create a pressure wave to hopefully expel the object.
~If that doesn’t work, try back blows. With the base of your hand, hit the person on the back between the shoulder blades.
~Alternate between abdominal thrusts and back blows until the object is out.
~If the person goes unconscious, call 911 and start CPR.
~Anyone who has had a choking episode should see a physician to make sure they’re OK.

~If you’re alone, try performing an abdominal thrust by yourself with the help of a chair or table.

~If you have a baby who is choking, tip the child over and perform softer back blows.