Memorial First In Region To Replace Heart Valve With No Surgical Incision

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Me­morial is the only hospital in the Chattanooga region chosen as a site to implant a remarkable new device, a transcatheter aortic valve re­placement, or TAVR, which is inserted into the aortic valve with no surgical incision. TAVR is a procedure for select patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve opening) who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery or are high-risk operable candidates.

Brian Negus, M.D. cardiologist at The Chattanooga Heart Institute at Memorial, and a member of Memorial’s Heart Valve Pro­gram, performed a heart cath­eterization on 83 year old William Horton and found the aortic valve disease had severely pro­gressed, which was the primary reason that he was expe­riencing shortness of breath when he walked even a short distance.

Dr. Negus, and the other mem­bers of the valve program team, Richard Morrison, M.D., and Clifton Reade, M.D., cardiovascular surgeons, along with Mark Thel, M.D., and William Oellerich, M.D., cardi­ologists at The Chattanooga Heart Institute with Memorial, carefully considered possible treatments for Mr. Horton.

“In all previous TAVR cases, we introduced the valve through an actual incision either in the side, chest or groin,” said Richard Morrison, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon at Memorial. “It is typically a two inch incision.  This time, however, we were able to perform the entire procedure through just a prick in the groin where a catheter was introduced (similar to a heart catheterization, but with a slightly larger catheter). Mr. Horton was up on his feet two hours after the procedure. There is no incision to take care of, just a prick site.”

According to Clifton Reade, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon at Memorial, “The newly approved smaller retroflex valve delivery system for TAVR that often requires no surgical incision was approved by the FDA on Monday, June 16, 2014.  We were able to use this device on Mr. Horton.”

“This newly approved device is for sicker patients. We were able to replace the patients’ aorta valve and send him home potentially within 48 hours, which is remarkable,” said William Oellerich, M.D., cardi­ologist at The Chattanooga Heart Institute with Memorial.

“The staff at Memorial has been beyond exceptional,” said Juanita Horton, wife of William Horton. “I know William is looking forward to getting back to the bowling alley and playing the game he loves.”

Memorial is the only hospital in the Chattanooga area chosen as a site for the use of the TAVR valve.  In October of 2011, when Memo­rial was selected, it was one of only 24 hospitals nationwide chosen to use this newly approved FDA device.

Multiple medical and surgical issues must be considered when evaluating a patient as a possible recipient of the TAVR valve. “It’s pretty amazing to at­tend a case review where there are two surgeons and three cardiologists in a room work­ing together to determine treat­ment options. That is one of the most unique things about the valve program,” said Jennifer Welch, coordinator of Me­morial’s Heart Valve Program.

“With more research and study, TAVR will likely lead from high risk to lower risk groups of patients making the procedure more widely available,” says Dr. Oellerich.

If you have been diagnosed with valve disease, talk with your doctor about Memorial Hospital’s Heart Valve Program or call 495-HEART (4327).


Corker, Colleagues Pledge Support For Fight To Contain Ebola Outbreak

The United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution offered by Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recognizing the severe threat posed by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the support provided by the United States government, ... (click for more)

Corker Congratulates Bethany Christian Services On Being Named An “Angel In Adoption”

Senator Bob Corker congratulated Bethany Christian Services of Chattanooga on being recognized as a Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute 2014 Angel in Adoption for their advocacy of adoption issues. “Bethany Christian Services of Chattanooga has impacted the lives of countless families through their tireless dedication to finding children permanent, loving homes, and ... (click for more)

Inmate Found Dead In County Jail Early Saturday Morning

An inmate died in the Hamilton County jail Saturday morning. Notification was received from the Hamilton County 911 Center at   12:50 a.m. ,   regarding an inmate found unresponsive.   Jail personnel found the male inmate unresponsive in his cell and initiated C.P.R. while notifying Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services. The party ... (click for more)

Democratic Chairman Roy Herron Announces He Will Not Run For 2nd Term

Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron announced Saturday at a meeting of the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee that he would not be seeking a second term as party chairman. “I have been blessed to serve as chairman these past two years, and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of the executive committee members, party officials, staff members, and friends ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Okay … here we go. A number of readers have complained that I haven’t shared any jokes that my friends send to my email address so on a weekend when our Volunteers and Mocs are idle, let’s laugh a little:   I was sitting in a bar one afternoon with an old friend knocking back a few beers when he said, "You know, if we're not careful we'll end up like those two old drunks ... (click for more)