Tag Archives: Women’s Health

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.”

Helping Women at Lexington Women’s Care

Lexington Women’s Care is a Lexington Medical Center physician practice that provides OB/GYN care in five locations around the Midlands. In this video, patient Lacey Hines talks about how Dr. David Stallard helped her navigate a difficult road and work through the process of becoming a foster mother.

For more information about Lexington Women’s Care or to make an appointment, visit LexingtonWomensCare.com.

Calling All Women Bloggers!

Lexington Medical Center is sponsoring a contest from May 1st to May 31st to find additional, talented bloggers for its Every Woman Blog. Through the contest, the hospital plans to select five women from the community to be featured as permanent bloggers. Their posts will appear each month on the EveryWomanBlog.com website. The contest is open to women of all ages, and each selected blogger will receive a $250 cash prize.

The Every Woman Blog has been active for more than seven years, with more than 327,000 post views. The blog has received several awards from leading health care organizations such as the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society and the Aster Awards. Winners of the blog contest will join Shannon Boatwright, Mary Pat Baldauf, Katie Austin, Chaunte McClure, Ashley Whisonant, Jeanne Reynolds, Rachel Sircy and Stacy Thompson as featured bloggers at EveryWomanBlog.com.

“We’re looking forward to growing our exceptional team of Every Woman Bloggers,” said Lexington Medical Center Public Relations Manager Jennifer Wilson. “We know people like to read real, inspiring stories from others in their community, and we are grateful to our bloggers for their willingness to share their thoughts and experiences with our blog audience. We are lucky to have so many diverse perspectives in the community represented in this blog and we look forward to adding new voices to the mix.”

To enter the blogging contest, visit Lexington Medical Center’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LexingtonMedical. Send a message or video about why you would be a great blogger to represent and inspire women in the Midlands. Five women with the most persuasive, funny, touching or engaging posts will be selected to become featured bloggers on the Every Woman Blog.

Each featured blogger will write at least one post per month. The topics will vary greatly depending on the personalities of the bloggers and their daily experiences in the community. Visitors can expect some of the posts to be videos. The bloggers will also meet in person at “blogger reunions” to share ideas and brainstorm topics.

The Every Woman Blog also features occasional guest bloggers from Lexington Medical Center’s medical staff. With Lexington Medical Center as the sponsor of the blog, readers can expect to find an abundance of helpful health information. For more information, visit www.EveryWomanBlog.com.