St. Dominic’s Performs Rare, Lifesaving Valve in Valve Heart Surgery

On Thursday, Nov. 19, St. Dominic’s cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons performed a rare surgical procedure by placing a prosthetic heart valve inside of an existing valve that had been replaced surgically 15 years ago.
This transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) allows physicians to guide a heart valve from a small needle stick in the groin into the heart replacing the malfunctioning heart valve. While this procedure carries a certain amount of risk, as do all procedures, it will now allow the 70-year-old patient to have a normal life expectancy.
“At St. Dominic’s we are excited to be leading the way in bringing all of this exciting new technology to Mississippi and we are committed to continuing to provide access to these cutting edge techniques to our community,” said Antoine Keller, M.D., FACS, cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Dominic Hospital.
“When this patient received treatment 15 years ago, heart valves were replaced through much more invasive, open procedures,” Keller said. “Now with this lifesaving technology, we are able to perform heart valve replacement using only catheters and wires, dramatically reducing the amount of discomfort patients feel and the length of time it takes to recover.”
Gray Bennett, M.D., cardiologist at St. Dominic Hospital, said TAVR has been a breakthrough in care for patients that are at the highest risk for death surrounding a valve replacement. “We are offering them an alternative to the traditional surgery, which has worked in the past for the lower risk patient,” he said. “But by using a team approach with cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists, we can even offer TAVR to patients who have had a previous valve replacement and lower their risk.
“We are lucky to have the team, the talent and the technical skill that it takes to offer patients much more advanced treatment,” said William Crowder, M.D., cardiologist at St. Dominic Hospital. “TAVR enables us to provide lifesaving treatment to high risk patients who otherwise could not be treated.”