Tag Archives: Lexington Medical Heart Center

New Aortic Valve Procedure Answers Prayer

Thomas Caldwell has a heart for prayer. As pastor of Beacon Baptist Church in Lexington, he leads his congregation with faith. This fall, when doctors at Lexington Medial Center told him there was something wrong with his aortic valve and that it needed to be replaced, he began to pray.

The pastor shared his story with Dawndy Mercer Plank in this WIS-TV news story. Watch it below.


At age 81, Thomas decided he didn’t want to have open heart surgery. That was a big decision because not having his aortic valve fixed could shorten his life. But he soon learned he was a candidate for transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. The procedure used to be considered experimental and only for patients who were unable to have open heart surgery because of advanced age or other health problems. But right after Thomas’ appointment and his conversation with God, the procedure was approved for nearly all aortic valve patients. In fact, Thomas became the first patient to have TAVR at Lexington Medical Center under the newly expanded guidelines.

Lexington Medical Center Begins Offering Dissolvable Heart Stents

Lexington Medical Center has become the first hospital in the Midlands to offer patients with coronary artery disease a first-of-its-kind fully dissolving heart stent. Called the most significant advancement in cardiology since stenting began decades ago, these new stents repair clogged arteries until they heal and then gradually dissolve into the body. Lexington Medical Center implanted its first dissolvable stent in a patient on Monday, September 26, 2016.


“We are pleased to be able to offer the next generation of stent technology to our patients at Lexington Medical Center,” said Robert Malanuk, MD, FACC, cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “Composed of naturally dissolving material, these stents will dissolve fully in three years. They offer clear advantages for many heart patients.”

While heart stents are traditionally metal, this new type of stent is made of naturally dissolving material, similar to dissolving sutures. Described as a vascular scaffolding system, it fully restores the artery and dissolves completely, after it has done its job of keeping a clogged artery open and promoting healing of the treated artery segment. Studies show arteries remain open and healthy for long periods of time after the stents dissolve. By contrast, metal stents are permanent implants.

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Similar to a cast on a broken bone, a clogged artery that’s been cleared only needs support for several months until it can heal and can stay open on its own. After that, a metal stent serves no additional purpose. In fact, a metal stent can hinder future cardiac interventions.

Lexington Medical Center’s cardiologists have received special training to implant these devices.

The hospital is using the Absorb GTI™ bioresorbable vascular scaffold system made by Abbott. The world’s first FDA-approved dissolving heart stent, it’s currently available in approximately 50 hospitals in the United States, including Lexington Medical Center.

Patients must meet specific criteria to be eligible for a dissolvable stent. Factors include anatomy, the makeup of the lesion, size of the artery and degree of calcification.

Coronary artery disease affects 15 million people in the United States and remains a leading cause of death around the world. It occurs when fat, cholesterol and other things in the blood build up in arteries, causing the heart to not get enough blood and oxygen.

There are three stent options for blocked arteries. The first is bare metal stents, developed in the 1980’s. The second is drug-eluting stents, developed in the early 2000’s, which are coated with medicine that helps to prevent the artery from narrowing again. The third option is now dissolvable stents; like drug-eluting stents, dissolvable stents also have medicine to halt the growth of plaque in the artery.

Lexington Medical Center is committed to offering comprehensive cardiovascular care. Heart disease is an epidemic in South Carolina. One out of every three people in our state dies from cardiovascular disease. In fact, more people die from heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. For more information on cardiovascular care at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/Heart.

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs Receive Prestigious Certification

Two of Lexington Medical Center’s cardiac rehabilitation programs and the hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation program have received prestigious certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The certification demonstrates that LMC’s cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are aligned with current evidence-based medicine and guidelines for appropriate and effective outpatient care of patients with cardiac issues.

Lexington Medical Center’s cardiac rehabilitation programs at the main hospital campus and at the hospital’s community medical center in Lexington received the certification. Cardiac Rehabilitation in Irmo just opened last year and must wait until next year to apply. Lexington Medical Center also achieved certification for its pulmonary rehabilitation program at the main hospital campus.

The goals of cardiac rehabilitation are to help patients recover from cardiac incidents, such as heart attack, stents or bypass surgery, and to help prevent another cardiac incident by developing healthy lifestyle habits through education and support.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is designed to help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic respiratory conditions. Using exercise and education, it enables patients to increase their strength and endurance, improve their breathing and reduce shortness of breath. The program also helps them deal with the anxiety and depression often associated with living with chronic respiratory conditions.

“This national certification ensures that our cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs provide all of the required components to assist patients in achieving these goals,” said John Leech, manager of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. “Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Lexington Medical Center are comprehensive programs with exercise, education, motivation and support that leads to the best possible outcomes.”

AACVPR-certified programs are awarded program certification after an extensive application process that details the program’s structure, individualized care plans, staff competencies and outcomes measurement. Certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

“We’re meeting a high level of patient care,” said Lesa Naughton, clinical coordinator of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Lexington Medical Center’s community medical center in Lexington. “Cardiac rehabilitation saves lives.”