Peggy Lewis loves living along the shores of Lake Murray in Chapin with her husband James. The path behind their house leads right down to the water.
But after enjoying the banks of the lake, the 83-year-old began to notice she was having trouble walking back up the incline to the house.
“I had a lot of shortness of breath and would have to stop along the way,” she said.
For an active woman who exercised regularly, the change was very noticeable. And it kept getting worse.
Peggy came to Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center to see her cardiologist, Robert M. Malanuk, MD, FACC. Tests revealed that Peggy’s mitral valve was failing. One of four valves in the heart, the mitral valve regulates blood flow from the upper left chamber into the heart’s main pumping chamber. Peggy’s mitral valve was leaking severely. She also learned she was in the beginning stages of congestive heart failure.
Doctors perform open heart surgery to repair or replace a mitral valve. At age 83, Peggy learned that’s what she needed. And it wasn’t the first time. In 2001, Peggy underwent open heart surgery to repair her mitral valve. Now it was time to replace it.
Peggy’s surgeon was Jeffrey A. Travis, MD.
“Everyone wants to avoid surgery, but sometimes it’s the best or only option. That was the case for Peggy,” Dr. Travis said.
The surgery was a success.
The Highest Honor
In fact, Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center’s track record of positive outcomes in open heart surgery has earned it a significant honor.
For the second consecutive year, Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center earned three three-star ratings from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for aortic valve replacement, coronary artery bypass grafting and isolated mitral valve replacement and repair. Three stars is the highest rating possible.
Historically, 4 to 7% of database participants in the United States and Canada achieve this prestigious designation, which recognizes quality patient and clinical outcome excellence.
The STS rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada
“The mission of Lexington Medical Center has always been to provide high-quality health care that meets the needs of our communities, and our cardiovascular care continues to be recognized at the highest levels,” said Dr. Travis. “This accomplishment underscores a large team that works tirelessly to care for our patients.”
Lexington Medical Center began its complete cardiac care program in 2012 with expectations to perform about 100 open heart surgeries each year. But the program has far exceeded expectations. To date, the hospital has performed more than 4,650 open heart surgeries – an average of nearly 400 surgeries each year.
The STS rating system is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in health care, rating the benchmarked outcomes of cardiothoracic surgery programs across the United States and Canada.
“The hard work, dedication and collaboration among our entire heart team at Lexington Medical Center continues to be recognized at the highest levels, including receiving three stars from STS for coronary artery bypass grafting, aortic valve replacement and mitral valve surgery,” said Lisa Pittman, RN, MSN, outcomes coordinator in the Center for Quality Outcomes for Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center. “It exemplifies our commitment to providing the highest quality care to our communities.”
An Excellent Recovery
Today, Peggy has no trouble walking back and forth to the lakeside. And she’s returned to working out four days a week at the gym. Monday through Thursday, she completes 30 minutes each on the treadmill and the stationery bike. Then, she lifts weights.
“I’m feeling really good today.”
Just in time to enjoy summer on the lake.
For more information about Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center, visit LexMed.com/HVC.