PADUCAH — Baptist Health Paducah once again proves it is the area’s heart care leader by becoming the only hospital in the region to offer groundbreaking transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs).
TAVR is an innovative new procedure for cardiac patients that offers a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open-heart surgery. The procedure uses a catheter to replace a failing heart valve, making it much less invasive than open-heart operations.
A heart team consisting of Martin Rains, MD, and Michael Faulkner, MD, the region’s only two structural interventional cardiologists; cardiothoracic surgeon Nicholas Lopez, MD, and anesthesiologist Jonathan McGregor, MD, successfully performed the first two TAVR procedures at Baptist Health Paducah earlier this week. The first two patients were Joe Young, 87, of La Center, and Roger Dale Anderson, 58, of Murray.
“Two and half years ago, I was excited to return home to Paducah to join what has long been the region’s leader in heart care,” Rains said. “To partner with colleagues like Drs. Faulkner and Lopez in offering a truly unique approach to cardiovascular care – a team approach to better the lives of patients in our community — was something that excited me.
“We are proud to offer this procedure here. The citizens of our region deserve to receive ‘big city’ care at home. It has been a massive institutional effort here at Baptist Health Paducah to launch this program, and was made possible by supportive administrators and community philanthropists. Our team is excited to continue to provide high quality, evidence-based approaches that help patients live more enjoyable lives.”
The Medtronic Evolut PRO+ TAVR System is used to treat patients with aortic stenosis, one of the most common heart valve diseases. Aortic stenosis affects more than 2.5 million Americans over the age of 75 annually.
Severe aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve leaflets become stiff and thickened and have difficulty opening and closing, making the heart work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body and, therefore, affecting an individual’s daily activities. If left untreated, patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis can die from heart failure in as little as two years.
Compared with open-heart surgery, patients who undergo TAVR spend less time in the hospital and are able to recover more quickly and get back to their everyday activities. Both Young and Anderson were discharged after only two days in the hospital.
BHP PR Specialist Angie Timmons said that Anderson was very complimentary of the BHP team, as well as his doctor in Murray, Dr. Kyle O’Dell, who practices out of Murray-Calloway County Hospital.
She also said that it was hard to tell that Anderson had just experienced such a procedure when she first met him.
“What was interesting about Roger is when I visited his hospital room two days after the TAVR procedure, I thought he was a visitor because he looked so good and he was sitting in a chair waiting to go home. He said before the procedure he couldn’t even walk without becoming winded,” Timmons said.
“Also, I learned that he had open heart surgery and a pancreas and kidney transplant in 2004 and 2005. I don’t remember which year was which and I might have the years wrong, but it was around that time. At age 58, he has had a lot of health problems and wasn’t expected to live two more years without the TAVR procedure.”
The Baptist Health team of interventional and general cardiologists offers the latest technology, such as WATCHMAN for atrial fibrillation and CardioMEMS for congestive heart failure. In addition, cardiothoracic surgeons offer minimally invasive options, such as a comprehensive mitral valve program; minimally invasive aortic valve replacement; a variety of treatments for atrial fibrillation, including surgical ablations; and the area’s only valve sparing aortic root replacement to treat aneurysms.
“We are excited to bring this important procedure to our region,” Lopez said. “It completes our comprehensive service line. TAVR combines aspects of both cardiology and cardiac surgery and the close collaboration allows for excellent outcomes. We will save lives and allow our patients to spend less time in the hospital and more time at home with their loved ones.”
For more information about TAVR, phone Kristin Kirby, RN, structural heart disease coordinator, at 270.575.8349.