LMC to Offer Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

This year, Lexington Medical Heart Center will begin offering transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. This state-of-the-art cardiovascular technology allows doctors to replace the aortic valve without open heart surgery.

Dr. Robert Leonardi of Lexington Cardiology

Dr. Robert Leonardi of Lexington Cardiology

“TAVR is the single most important advance in interventional cardiology since coronary angioplasty,” said Dr. Robert Leonardi of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

He will perform TAVR procedures as part of a highly skilled cardiac care team that includes Dr. Robert Malanuk of Lexington Cardiology and Dr. Jeffrey Travis of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, as well as nurses, technicians and a cardiovascular anesthesiologist.

Currently, TAVR is for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for open heart surgery because of their age, history of heart disease, or other health issues.

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.

TAVR offers a less invasive option than open heart surgery. To replace the diseased aortic valve, the new aortic valve is compressed into a tube-like device called a delivery catheter that’s slightly wider than a pencil. Doctors insert the delivery catheter and the new aortic valve into an artery and thread the catheter through the body to the inside of the diseased aortic valve. Then, doctors deploy the new valve from the delivery catheter 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 Heart Center will use the Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve. It’s made of bovine tissue with a stainless steel frame. The TAVR procedure takes less than two hours.

“The main benefit is that patients feel better and live longer,” Dr. Leonardi said.

Studies show that TAVR reduces the mortality rate in patients by 20% in the first year after the procedure.

“Patients often want to know if there’s something we can do to make them feel better,” he added. “TAVR allows that to happen.”

For more information on Lexington Medical Center’s complete cardiac care program, visit LexMed.com.

The Doctor Is In: Osteoporosis, Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

Dr. Kaki Bruce of Lexington Rhuematology was a guest on WLTX’s “Spotlight” segment this week talking about osteoporosis, arthritis and fibromyalgia. She also previewed an LMC physician lecture set for Monday March 24 at 6:00 p.m. inside the Lexington Medical Park 1 Auditorium on the LMC campus called “Speaking of Women’s Health.”

Dr. Bruce offers helpful advice in this segment.

9/11 Exhibit Traveling to Columbia

Stephen Siller

Stephen Siller

Lexington Medical Center is a proud supporter of The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Stephen Siller was a New York City firefighter and father of five who died on September 11. That day, Siller was off-duty and on his way to play golf. When he heard what was happening at the World Trade Center, he strapped on 60 pounds of gear and ran from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center. He was last seen with his brothers of Squad 1 saving lives. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committed to ensuring that Americans never forget 9/11 and that our children understand the sacrifices made by many on that day.


The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has created the 9/11 Never Forget Exhibit, a traveling museum that honors the heroism and patriotism of the Fire Department of New York and everyday heroes on September 11, 2001. The exhibit will be in Columbia from March 25 – 27. The 1,000 square foot museum travels across the United States as a tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and an educational tool to teach children about the historic events of that day. The memorial provides interactive education including artifacts, news and video recordings and live tours from FDNY heroes. It’s the first time the exhibit is visiting South Carolina.

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    The 9/11 Never Forget Exhibit will be open to the public at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Lincoln Street next to the First Responders Historic Remembrance Memorial on Tuesday, March 25 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; at the South Carolina State House on Wednesday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; and at Hilton Field at Fort Jackson on Thursday, March 27 from 7:30 a.m. – Noon. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Additionally, for the second year in a row, Columbia’s Vista will set the stage for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk, scheduled for September 19, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The picturesque route begins near the First Responders Historic Remembrance Memorial next to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Lincoln Street. It will travel down Blossom Street, across the Blossom Street Bridge, into Cayce, up the Gervais Street Bridge and back to The Vista. The event is designed to celebrate and appreciate first responders and military service members, who serve, save and sacrifice on our behalf every day. Here is a slideshow of last year’s event.

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The goal of Tunnel to Towers is to support first responders and military service members who have been seriously hurt in the line of duty. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the building of smart homes for quadruple and triple amputee veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s “Building for America’s Bravest” program.

You can register for South Carolina’s Tunnel to Towers 5K Walk and Run at www.t2trun.org. The entry fee is $25.

For more information about the 5K, or general information about the traveling exhibit, call Katie Shearouse at (803) 798-4979.

School groups who are interested in visiting the exhibit should contact Lisa Bender at (252) 432-2696 or at lisa.bender@tunnel2towers.org

Follow news and information about September’s Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers South Carolina 5K Run & Walk on social media:
Facebook: Tunnel to Towers South Carolina
Twitter: @T2TSC
Instagram: T2TSC