Tag Archives: Lexington Medical Heart Center

Hey Girlfriends! Register for Heart and Sole

On your mark, get set, go! Join us for the Lexington Medical Center Heart and Sole Women’s Five Miler on Saturday, April 21 in downtown Columbia. This women-only event features a five-mile run, a five-mile walk and a three-mile-walk. In its 17th year, Heart and Sole is designed to celebrate women and the power of a healthy lifestyle, and to raise awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. With a strong commitment to a comprehensive cardiovascular program at hospital, Lexington Medical Center is pleased to be the title sponsor.

The start line is at Arsenal Hill on Laurel Street. The opening ceremony is at 7:30 a.m; the 5-mile run and walk begin at 8:00 a.m; and the 3-mile walk starts at 8:05 a.m. The finish line is at the bottom of Finlay Park on Taylor Street. Each woman will receive a red rose and a finisher’s medal as she crosses the finish line. A post-event celebration and expo featuring Lexington Medical Center clinicians as well as WIS-TV news anchors Dawndy Mercer-Plank, Judi Gatson and other WIS-TV personalities will take place in Finlay Park until 10:30 a.m.

“We’re proud to host the Heart and Sole Women’s Five Miler because it not only encourages physical activity a healthy lifestyle, it also calls attention to the issue of heart disease — the biggest health threat women face today,” said Dr. Amy Epps, cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Launched by the Carolina Marathon Association in 2002, the Lexington Medical Center Heart and Sole Women’s Five Miler is South Carolina’s first women-only road race. It has grown from fewer than 400 female participants in its first year to more than 1,300 today. Sponsored in conjunction with WIS-TV, the race offers women of all athletic abilities the opportunity to participate in a comforting, supportive environment. Elite athletes, as well as first-timers, enjoy the unique event.

Women who have participated in Heart and Sole in previous years will recognize changes in the course this year. The growth of Columbia’s Soda City Market on Main Street has made the downtown area on Saturday mornings busier than ever before. As a result, the course will now go down Marion Street, incorporate historic sections of the city and eliminate the Gervais Street hill. These changes will create a flatter, faster course. Additionally, the race will begin 30 minutes earlier than previous years.

For more information, including a course map, packet pick-up, race day and awards information, and to register, visit HeartAndSolerun.com or HeartAndSoleWalk.com.

We hope to see you at the start line!

A Better Way to Treat Blood Clots

A blood clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism. This potentially dangerous condition can cause shortness of breath and damage to the heart. Cardiologists at Lexington Medical Center are using an innovative treatment called EKOS to treat the condition. The patients have included a Lexington County mother in her mid-thirties who never imagined she’d have a blood clot. Meet her and learn about the procedure in this WIS-TV Health U report.


Listen to Your Symptoms: Shortness of Breath Leads to Open Heart Surgery

Karen Rainwater loves spending time with her grandchildren. But a few months ago, a simple visit to see them created cause for concern.

She was reading a story to 5-year-old Sam and 2-year-old Mallie in December when her daughter noticed she was really short of breath.
Karen knew something wasn’t right. In fact, she’d been really tired and short of breath for about a month.

So she made an appointment to see Brandon C. Drafts, MD, FACC, a cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

Karen Rainwater reading with her grandchildren in West Columbia

After listening to Karen’s heart with a stethoscope for a few seconds, Dr. Drafts told her there was a problem.

“She had a prominent heart murmur that sounded like it could be a potentially severe mitral valve disorder,” Dr. Drafts said. “An echocardiogram showed severe mitral valve regurgitation. That occurs when the mitral valve leaflets don’t close correctly and cause blood to go backwards in the heart, leading to fluid build up in the lungs.”

Further testing showed that a cord, which holds one of the mitral valve leaflets in place, had ruptured.

In Karen’s case, a defect in the valve structure was to blame. In other cases, heart attacks or chronically weak and dilated heart muscle can cause mitral valve regurgitation.

The news surprised Karen. At 62, with a busy life, three grown children and three grandchildren, she had never had heart problems before or had a doctor tell her that her heart didn’t sound right.

Dr. Drafts consulted Jeffrey A. Travis, MD, of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice.

“Because of the the cord tearing, Karen had congestive heart failure and would not get better without surgery,” Dr. Travis said.

Dr. Brandon Drafts

Within a few days of testing, Karen was staring down heart surgery during the holidays.

“I was absolutely shocked and asked Dr. Travis how long I’d be in the hospital,” she said. “He told me, ‘About a week, plus four to six weeks in recovery.’” I told him, ‘I don’t have time!’ It was less than two weeks until Christmas.”

But Dr. Drafts and Dr. Travis wanted to coordinate her care quickly. She received her diagnosis on Wednesday and had open heart surgery the following Monday.

“The heart undergoes changes when a valve fails, and the quicker you fix it, the less likely the changes will be permanent,” Dr. Travis said. “That’s why it’s important to listen to your body, and if you notice changes, seek medical attention.”

Karen had open heart surgery at Lexington Medical Center on December 18 and went home on Christmas Eve.

Dr. Jeffrey Travis

Her long-term prognosis is excellent.

“The quick coordination of care allowed Karen to get relief from her symptoms sooner and avoid any potential complications from congestive heart failure,” Dr. Drafts said. “I don’t think Karen initially realized how sick she was before surgery, but she feels significantly better now.”

Karen felt confident and at peace with all the care she received at Lexington Medical Center.

“While there have been some normal hurdles, recovery has been great,” she said. “Every day I can do something more than I did the day before.”

That includes more story time with the grandkids.