Baptist’s Cardiovascular Team Performs 100th Heart Valve Replacement Using Latest Technology with Less Invasive Technique

Thursday, July 14, 2016

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Baptist holds reception in honor of valve patients on Thursday, August 4, 2016, at 1:30 pm in the Atrium of Baptist Medical Center.

In July 2012, Baptist was part of a national historic medical event when physicians performed one of the nation’s first and the Jackson area’s first aortic heart valve replacement with the new Edwards Sapien Valve. Just four years later, Baptist implemented this breakthrough valve procedure on its 100th patient on Thursday, July 14, 2016. Baptist is the only hospital in central and south Mississippi to perform 100 procedures of this type.

What makes this extraordinary is that the procedure gives patients who had no other options left a way to repair their diseased heart valves. And, using the Edwards SAPIEN 3 Transcatheter Heart Valve Replacement (TAVR) device, surgeons don’t have to crack open the chest to perform the procedure.

“It’s cutting edge technology giving hope to people, particularly the elderly, who have been pretty much disabled due to a diseased heart valve,” added Cardiothoracic Surgeon William Harris, MD, with Baptist Heart, a division of Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. “It was exciting to be on the cutting edge in using this technology to offer a potential life-saving option to people where you don’t have to open heart surgery.”

Using the state-of-the-art Hybrid Operating Room, Baptist pairs interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons in using this latest technology. The SAPIEN heart valve, made of bovine pericardial tissue leaflets hand-sewn onto a metal frame, is implanted via one of two catheter-based methods. It’s either navigated to the heart from the femoral artery in the patient’s leg or through a small incision between the ribs and into the left ventricle. It is then positioned inside the patient’s existing valve using a balloon to deploy the frame, which holds the valve replacement in place. Both procedures are performed on a beating heart, without the need for cardiopulmonary bypass and its associated risks.

Baptist’s 100th TAVR patient was performed on Charlotte Duthu, a 71 year old from Jackson, Miss.  Before surgery she found herself unable to complete small tasks such as cleaning and walking around her house because of shortness of breath.  She made a full recovery and enjoys getting back to the basics of life such as gardening and feeding the birds in her yard.

Dr. Harris went on to explain that these patients have aortic valve stenosis. This is a condition where calcification of the aortic heart valve prevents blood from flowing properly through the heart, thus causing a heart murmur. The heart has to work harder to push blood through the damaged aortic valve, a condition that eventually could weaken the heart muscle. The TAVR procedure offers an alternative treatment for patients with aortic stenosis who are unable to undergo open heart surgery.

TAVR is just one of several leading–edge procedures Baptist performed in recent years in order to provide the best care for our patients. “And, there is a highly trained, nurse practitioner who starts the evaluation process for each of our patients,” added Harris.

For example, Baptist is among a select group of medical centers nationwide, and the only hospital in Mississippi, to perform a robotically assisted mitral valve repair. Plus, Baptist created the Valve Center in 2009 to bring together a team of experienced cardiac caregivers to offer the most comprehensive care in the region for patients with heart disease.

In addition, Baptist will host a celebration of life during a TAVR patient reunion on Thursday, August 4, 2016, in the Atrium of Baptist Medical Center.

“We are looking forward to reuniting with all these patients from the past four years,” said Baptist Heart Valve Coordinator Lynne Currie, CFNP. “It’s miraculous to see how much their quality of life has improved. For instance, those that couldn’t work in their garden or even go walk to their mailbox are now able to do things they haven’t been able to do in years.” 

Learn more about the new upgrade to TAVR and Baptist’s Valve Center by calling 601.969.0312 or click here to visit the website.


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