Tag Archives: transcatheter aortic valve replacement

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.

Striking Back Against Heart Disease

On Friday nights, you can bet on finding Martha Gregg at the Gamecock Lanes bowling alley in Sumter.

She bowls there every week with her son and daughter and participates in bowling tournaments. Her personal best is a 195.

She’s back in the game after a serious setback in 2014.

During that time, the 68-year-old noticed she was getting very tired.

Martha Gregg bowling in Sumter

“I would get so tired when walking. I couldn’t stand up in church, either. I couldn’t bake. I couldn’t lift my clothes. I was so tired and out of breath.”

It was so bad that she fell asleep at work one night.

The fatigue affected her bowling, too.

“I was too tired to bowl,” she said. “I’d bowl one game and couldn’t finish it. My son would say, ‘Mom, just sit down.’”

Tests at Lexington Medical Center revealed something was wrong with Martha’s aortic valve, the heart valve that allows oxygenated blood back into the body.

Doctors referred her to Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia for further testing.

“They said the valve was not pumping enough blood through my body to keep me going full force. The valve was slowing me down,” she said. “They said it needed to be replaced. That scared me.”

But that June, instead of traditional, open heart surgery, Martha underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR, at Lexington Medical Center. This state-of-the-art cardiovascular technology allows doctors to replace the aortic valve without open heart surgery.

TAVR is considered the most significant advancement in cardiology since coronary angioplasty.

Currently, TAVR is for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are high-risk candidates for open heart surgery because of their age, history of heart disease or other health issues.

In TAVR, a catheter helps to deploy a new aortic valve over the patient’s diseased aortic valve without open heart surgery.

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, it can lead to life-threatening heart problems.

To replace the diseased aortic valve with TAVR, the new aortic valve is compressed into a catheter. Doctors thread the catheter through the body to the inside of the diseased aortic valve. Then, they deploy the new valve 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.

With this minimally invasive technique, doctors deployed the new aortic valve through just a small puncture in the femoral artery in the leg.

“After a few days in the hospital, I noticed that I could walk more,” Martha said. “I thought, ‘I don’t feel tired.’ I couldn’t do that before without stopping and resting.”

Two months later, she was back at the bowling alley impressing the competition at tournaments again.

And she’s thankful to the Lexington Medical Center team that fixed her up.

“I feel like I can run a marathon now. It’s really good. I can kick my heels up, too.”

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.