Pikeville Medical Center reaches milestone

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) – Pikeville Medical Center has reached an important milestone.

The hospital says a team of cardiac specialists from PMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute have successfully performed 100 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures. It is a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery for treating a type of valve disease.

“Many patients develop calcium deposits in the valve and then the valve narrows. When the valve narrows, not enough blood comes out of the heart to supply the brain and kidneys – and patients can become very dizzy when walking. They may develop shortness of breath,” said cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Dermot Halpin.

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

“This [the TAVR procedure] is the replacement of the aortic valve without cutting the thorax. What it does is you do the same thing as in surgery, but we usually go through the legs, replace the valve and the patient can go home the next day,” said Dr Muhammad Ahmad, director medical service intervention. Cardiology.

It’s a procedure that comes with a quick recovery, cardiologists say, with patients typically getting up and moving the same day and heading home the next day.

“I think that’s a big benefit for the patient. The patient receives a lot of care at home. It’s the easiest recovery and they immediately go back to their lives,” Ahmad said.

All of this represents a major step, 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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