Pikeville Medical Center Reaches Milestone

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) – The Pikeville Medical Center has reached a milestone.

The hospital says a team of cardiac specialists at PMC’s Cardiovascular Institute has successfully performed 100 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures. It’s a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery to treat 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 from the heart to supply the brain and kidneys — and patients can become very dizzy when walking. You can develop shortness of breath,” said Dr. Dermot Halpin, a cardiothoracic surgeon.

Not all patients can undergo a major procedure like open-heart surgery, Halpin said, including patients in their 80s and 90s and those with other medical conditions.

“It [the TAVR procedure] is the replacement of the aortic valve without cutting open the chest. They do the same 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, Medical Director of Interventional Cardiology.

It’s a procedure associated with a speedy recovery, heart specialists say, with patients typically getting up the same day and heading home the next day.

“I think it’s a great benefit for the patient. The patient is cared for directly at home. It’s the easiest recovery and they return to their lives right away,” Ahmad said.

All of this represents an important milestone in helping patients find a way to receive the care they need through a process that is best suited to their own bodies.

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