Tag Archives: Society of Thoracic Surgeons

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 Earns Highest Rating Possible for Heart Program

Lexington Medical Center’s cardiovascular program has earned the highest designation given to hospitals – a three-star rating for heart surgery – from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). For the year 2013, only 15 percent of heart programs nationwide have achieved this prestigious level, which is a designation that recognizes quality and clinical excellence.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has developed a comprehensive rating system for the quality of coronary artery bypass surgery among hospitals across the country. Lexington Medical Center ranked in the highest quality tier for 2013, earning the three-star rating. The STS 2013 analysis included more than 1,000 heart programs nationally.

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“The three-star designation shows that patients who undergo cardiac surgery at Lexington Medical Center receive outstanding clinical care along with the wonderful caring environment that the community has come to expect,” said Dr. Jeffrey Travis, Lexington Medical Center heart surgeon. “The three-star rating is widely regarded by clinicians as the gold standard by which to evaluate cardiac surgery programs.”

L to R: Dr. Steven Marra and Dr. Jeffrey Travis of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery at LMC

L to R: Dr. Steven Marra and Dr. Jeffrey Travis of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery at LMC


A Duke Medicine affiliate, Lexington Medical Center began its complete cardiac care program in 2012. The hospital expected to perform about 100 open heart surgeries each year. But the program has far exceeded expectations. To date, the hospital has performed more than 500 open heart surgeries. As reflected in the three-star rating, patients have experienced excellent outcomes.

Lexington Medical Center has also earned full chest pain accreditation with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC). To receive this accreditation, Lexington Medical Center demonstrated its ability to quickly assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. By becoming an accredited chest pain center, Lexington Medical Center has enhanced the quality of care for cardiac patients and has showed its commitment to the highest standards.

The hospital has continued to build its heart program by offering a variety of new services. This spring, Lexington Medical Center began to offer 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.

amberg_130115_564Additionally, Lexington Medical Heart Center now offers non-surgical closure for holes in the heart called atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovale (PFO). Like TAVR, this minimally invasive procedure eliminates the need for open heart surgery, resulting in shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.

Lexington Medical Center has also begun to use insertable cardiac monitors, commonly known as loop recorders, to diagnose heart rhythm problems. These small devices, placed under the skin with a small surgical procedure, monitor heart rhythms around the clock. While versions of this technology have been available for years, new loop recorders are as small as a paper clip and require an incision of just a few millimeters.

Importantly, quality oversight is part of LMC’s affiliation with Duke Medicine for cardiovascular care. Twice each year, Duke cardiologists and heart surgeons come to LMC to review heart surgery and catheterization cases with physicians. The Duke physicians also provide ongoing peer review and evaluate new procedures for both the open heart and Cath Lab programs. When the hospital performs new procedures for the first time, a Duke representative is usually present for support.

Lexington Medical Center’s work with cardiovascular care extends into the community with a robust heart education program. Heart disease is an epidemic in South Carolina. One out of every 3 people in South Carolina dies of cardiovascular disease. Lexington Medical Center is working to teach our community about risk factors, prevention and cardiac technology.

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