Tag Archives: aortic stenosis

Lexington Medical Center Performs First-of-its-Kind Heart Valve Replacement in South Carolina

This month, Lexington Medical Center’s heart program reached a new milestone in its work to provide patients with the most advanced technology in cardiovascular care. Doctors implanted the first LOTUS Edge™ aortic valve system in South Carolina. This device represents the latest generation of valve replacement for patients with severe aortic stenosis.

“The LOTUS Edge is the newest FDA-approved aortic valve replacement. It

LOTUS Edge. Courtesy: Boston Scientific

has several advantages over other valves in terms of safety and effectiveness. We’re excited to be the first in South Carolina to offer this technology to our patients,” said Robert A. Leonardi, MD, FACC, FSCAI of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Severe aortic stenosis is significant narrowing of the aortic valve opening that can restrict blood flow out of the heart. It makes the heart work harder to move the blood throughout the body and can ultimately lead to heart failure.

The LOTUS Edge is implanted through transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. In this procedure, doctors replace the aortic valve with a catheter instead of open heart surgery. The artificial valve is compressed into a catheter that travels through a large blood vessel in the body to the diseased aortic valve. Doctors deploy the artificial valve over the patient’s valve. The new valve begins functioning immediately, restoring normal blood flow to the heart.

Lotus Edge. Courtesy: Boston Scientific

The LOTUS Edge is unique because it’s the only replacement valve on the market that allows doctors to reposition the new valve into an optimal position within the heart. It also has a seal that has been proven to reduce leakage of blood around the outside of the valve.

“This milestone showcases the incredible benefit of a truly integrated heart valve team. It benefits the patients to have cardiologists and surgeons working together,” said Jeffrey A. Travis, MD, heart surgeon at Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Dr. Leonardi and Dr. Travis performed the procedure together inside the cardiac catherization lab at Lexington Medical Center.

Lexington Medical Center has consistently demonstrated leadership in heart care. The hospital has the most experienced TAVR team in the Midlands and has performed the first fully percutaneous and first awake TAVR procedures in South Carolina. Patients typically go home the next day.

Lexington Medical Center began its comprehensive cardiovascular program in 2012 and has continued to expand its heart services to meet the needs of the community. The program is affiliated with Duke Health and has earned a three-star rating – the highest rating possible – from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

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.”

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