Tag Archives: Dr. Robert Leonardi

Meet the Patients: Aortic Valve Replacement with The Sentinel

We’re pleased to bring you a blog series called “Meet the Patients.” We share the stories of Lexington Medical Center patients whose experiences will educate and inspire readers about the outstanding care provided throughout our hospital network and the importance of modern medicine.

Horace Bush loves living in the peaceful Aiken County countryside.

Horace Bush

His days include walks to the pasture where he and his wife of 65 years have cows.

But last year, the 100 yard walk from his house to the barn became nearly impossible for him.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Mr. Bush said. “I was completely out of breath.”

At nearly 90 years old, his doctor in Aiken sent him to Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. Mr. Bush’s aortic valve was failing – and would need to be replaced.

TAVR

Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC, FSCAI, wanted to replace Mr. Bush’s aortic valve with transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Considered one of the most significant advancements in cardiology, this technology allows doctors to replace the aortic valve with a catheter instead of open heart surgery.

TAVR is for patients with severe aortic stenosis, a narrowed aortic valve that does not let blood flow efficiently. As the heart works harder to pump blood through the smaller opening in the valve, the heart eventually becomes weak.

The Sentinel placed in arteries above the heart

“Patients with severe aortic stenosis have a prognosis that’s worse that most metastatic cancers,” Dr. Leonardi said. “TAVR helps them feel better and gives patients a much better quality of life.”

Some patients undergoing TAVR are at a higher risk of having a stroke. Now, Lexington Medical Center doctors have a device called The Sentinel® to prevent that. The Sentinel is a basket that doctors place in arteries leading to the brain. It helps to prevent blood clots or plaque from going to the brain and causing a stroke during TAVR. The Sentinel is removed at the end of the procedure.

Mr. Bush was the first patient to have TAVR with The Sentinel at Lexington Medical Center. It was a complete success.

“I can never express my gratitude to the doctors,” he said. “Fixing my heart valve through a catheter is a new field – and I prefer what they did instead of having to go through open heart surgery.”

Notably, Lexington Medical Center performs almost all TAVR procedures in its cardiac catheterization labs while patients are awake. Doctors can talk to patients during the procedure and they typically go home from the hospital the next day.

That includes Mr. Bush.

Today, he’s back to walking to the pasture with ease – and no shortness of breath. And he said hospital staff treated him life family and provided unbelievable service.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 10+,” he said. “Those doctors are ‘outta sight.’”

For more information about Lexington Cardiology and Lexington Medical Heart Center’s structural heart program, visit LexMed.com.

The Watchman Reduces Risk of Stroke

The Watchman is a new device used at Lexington Medical Center that can dramatically reduce the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heart rhythm. Dr. Robert Leonardi of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talked about The Watchman in this WLTX interview.

 

For more information on cardiovascular services at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/Heart.

Finding Closure: New Heart Device Reduces Stroke Risk

Lexington Medical Center is the first hospital in South Carolina to use a brand new device proven to reduce the risk of stroke in a substantial number of patients.
           

The Amplatzer PFO Occluder device by St. Jude Medical is for patients who have a small hole in the heart called a patent foramen ovale (PFO). About 25 to 30 percent of Americans have a PFO.

Typically, it causes no health problems and does not require treatment. But in some cases, clots can form in the veins, use the PFO to get into the arteries, and cause a stroke.

Patients who have suffered a stroke because of a PFO have an increased risk of experiencing a second stroke. Physicians now use the PFO occluder to close the hole in the heart and reduce the risk of another stroke.

While doctors have been closing PFOs for years, it’s the first time there has been a device with specific emphasis on stroke patients.

Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC, FSCAI

“It’s the first FDA-approved device for stroke reduction,” said Robert Leonardi, MD, FACC, FSCAI of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “In fact, the stroke reduction rate is estimated to be 50 percent.”

Doctors insert the PFO occluder through a catheter in the femoral vein in the leg. They thread the device through the PFO in the top chambers of the heart, known as the left and right atria.

While doctors can pinpoint the cause of most strokes from risk factors including high blood pressure, narrowed blood vessels, or a blood clot caused by an abnormal heart rhythm, some patients have strokes with a less obvious cause. That’s when doctors investigate the possibility of a PFO, usually discovered through an ultrasound of the heart.

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