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).


Inaugural A Race To Remember Rescheduled For Nov. 22

Consulate Health Care along with Boyd’s Speedway and other area sponsors will host the inaugural “A Race to Remember” taking place on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Boyd’s Speedway. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with the race beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Grandstand seating is $12, tickets in the pit are $24. “We are excited for the inaugural “A Race to Remember,” ... (click for more)

Life Care Center Of Cleveland Helps Retired Lumberjack Walk Again

While Billy Truelove spent 55 years working in an industry that demanded physical strength, his days as a lumberjack were past when he suffered a stroke several years ago, leaving the left side of his body weak and forcing him to use a wheelchair.   Mr. Truelove came to Life Care Center of Cleveland on  Sept. 10 , after being hospitalized for a heart attack at ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex Fetches $15 Million

Walnut Commons, the first downtown apartment complex built in many years, sold for $15 million, one of the developers said. John Clark said the initial estimate on the project was $11 million and it wound up costing around $12 million to build. "We're very pleased with the sale," he said. Mr. Clark, along with partners David Hudson and Bob McKenzie, are selling their stock ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principal Ronald Hughes Named Tennessee's 2014-15 Principal Of The Year

A Hamilton County elementary school principal and an Anderson County supervisor have earned top honors for their work in Tennessee education. Ronald Hughes, principal of Apison Elementary School in Chattanooga, was named Tennessee’s 2014-15 Principal of the Year. He has served as principal at Apison Elementary for the past six years, and spent three decades working in Tennessee ... (click for more)

Congratulations To Ron Hughes

Hearty congratulations to Ron Hughes for being selected as Tennessee State Elementary Principal of the Year for 2014. Wherever Ron has been assigned as principal, he has exhibited strong leadership both academically and morally. His faith in God and his love for the students of Hamilton County have guided his actions and everyone that has benefited from the excellent education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Brittany’s Days Dwindle

So here we are, facing what is known as “Devil’s Night” before Halloween comes, and the almost macabre news now comes that Brittany Maynard, the beautiful girl who has chosen to end her life as soon as Saturday, is struggling to meet her own deadline. She has inoperable brain cancer and, at best, only months to live. The 29-year-old, who was married shortly before her devastating ... (click for more)