The Valve Center Team Holds Reception for Patients Receiving Breakthrough Heart Valve Replacement Procedure

Friday, February 8, 2013

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In July 2012, Baptist began providing the transcatheter aortic heart valve replacement (TAVR) technology for the treatment of aortic stenosis in selected patients.  It is designed to replace a patient’s diseased aortic valve without open-heart surgery.  Using the state-of-the-art Hybrid Operating Room, Baptist pairs interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons in using this latest technology for these patients. Baptist is the only hospital in the Jackson, Miss. area performing this revolutionary procedure.

On Thursday, January 17, 2013, held a reception for the 12 patients receiving the new valve marking the sixth month anniversary of Baptist performing the first case in the area. Six of the patients attended the reception along with the physicians and clinicians helping bring this new procedure to Mississippi.

“This new technology is not only exciting for me professionally, but is exciting for improvements it will offer in the quality of life for patients in our state and surrounding areas,” said Baptist Cardiovascular Surgeon William Harris, MD. “People who formerly had no options with regards to treatment of their narrowed aortic valves will now have the potential to receive a new heart valve without having any incision on their chest. This procedure will not only greatly diminish their chance of an early death, but it will also improve their quality of life.”

A day after undergoing one of the nation’s first and the Jackson area’s first aortic heart valve replacement with the new Edwards Sapien valve, Bill Toole of Byram, Miss. was discharged from Baptist Medical Center.

Two weeks after surgery Toole said, “I’ve had no real pain. My daughter lives behind me on a hilly road, and I walked to her house for the first time in a long time.”

Up to 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis, a progressive disease that affects the aortic valve of their hearts. The aorta is the main artery carrying blood out of the heart. When blood leaves the heart, it flows through the aortic valve. Aortic stenosis is typically a disease of the elderly and occurs when calcium buildup affects the function of the valve. In a minority of cases, a congenital heart defect, infection, radiation therapy, medication, or inflammation can also cause the valve to narrow.

The first step in the process of patient enrollment for this procedure includes screening the patient at the Valve Center at Baptist.

“Patients typically need to have a classification of severe aortic valve stenosis which includes a valve area of less than one square centimeter, a velocity across the valve of 4 m/sec, and a mean gradient of 40 mmHG.” says Jackson Heart Cardiologist William Crowder, MD. “The starting point at the valve clinic will be confirmation of these numbers with special measurements to see what size prosthetic valve they would require.” 

Testing and discussion with the physicians about treatment is typically conducted in one day. For more information, visit


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