Pikeville Medical Center achieves milestone

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) - Pikeville Medical Center has achieved a milestone.

The hospital says a team of cardiac specialists at PMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute has successfully performed 100 Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedures. It’s a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery for treating a type of valve disease.

“A lot of patients develop calcium deposits in the valve and then the valve narrows. When the valve narrows, not enough blood gets out of the heart to supply the brain and the kidneys -- and the patients can become very dizzy when they walk. They can develop shortness of breath,” said Dr. Dermot Halpin, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Halpin says not all patients can undergo a major procedure like open heart surgery, including patients in their 80s and 90s, as well as those who may have other diseases.

“It [the TAVR procedure] is the replacement of aortic valve without cutting open the chest. What it does is you do the same thing as you do in a surgery, but we usually go through the legs, replace the valve and the patient is able to go home the next day,” said Dr. Muhammad Ahmad, Medical Director of Interventional Cardiology.

It’s a procedure that comes with a quick recovery, cardiac specialists say, with patients usually up and moving the same day and back at home the following day.

“I think it’s a great benefit to the patient. The patient gets a lot of care right at home. It is the easiest recovery, and they go back to their life right away,” Ahmad said.

It all represents a major milestone, helping patients find a way to get the care they need through a procedure that works best for their own body.

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