On May 17th, a team of cardiac specialists at Pikeville Medical Center’s (PMC) Heart and Vascular Institute reached a major milestone by successfully performing the hospital’s 100th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, which is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery for treating aortic stenosis.

PMC made headlines in January 2019, when the cardiac team performed the region’s first TAVR procedure.  The TAVR procedure offers a potentially life-saving option for cardiac patients who are not optimal candidates for traditional open-heart surgery. The procedure, which typically takes about an hour, involves inserting a new valve attached to a catheter, which is guided by the physician through the body via arteries. When the diseased aortic valve is reached, the replacement valve is deployed and secured in place.

“Performing our 100th TAVR procedure reflects the dedication of our entire heart and vascular team,” said Aaron Crum, MD, PMC Chief Medical Officer. “Heart disease claims the lives of too many people in our region. However, with this level of technology at Pikeville Medical Center, we can provide heart and vascular care that is saving lives every day.”

The experienced cardiac team at PMC’s Heart and Vascular Center which is involved in the TAVR procedures, includes Cardiothoracic Surgeons Dermot Halpin, MD, and Paul Randhawa, MD, FACS, along with Interventional Cardiologists Deepak Pattanshetty, MD, and Arun Nagabandi, MD. These specialists along with a highly trained and skilled staff at PMC lead the region and, many times, the state, in providing state-of-the-art cardiac care.

“Reaching this milestone is a significant achievement for Pikeville Medical Center,” explained Dr. Dermot Halpin. “Prior to TAVR, about a third of patients referred were not suitable for valve replacement because of the complexity of the surgery, particularly for patients in their 80s and 90s. Now, they have a minimally invasive option to replace the valve that typically allows them to go home the next day.”

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and is increasingly prevalent in Kentucky. Because of PMC’s commitment to, and investment in, cardiac care, patients no longer have to travel hundreds of miles for advanced heart care. The PMC Heart and Vascular Institute provides the region with comprehensive cardiac care through outstanding facilities, expert staff and cutting-edge technology.

“PMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute has grown so much since its opening, and it is exciting to be able to provide these advanced services to patients in our region,” said PMC President and CEO Donovan Blackburn. “As we continue to grow, we gain access to the latest technology and life-saving procedures, with TAVR being just one great example out of many offered at PMC.”

To learn more about the comprehensive heart and vascular services offered at Pikeville Medical Center, including more information on the process of being evaluated for TAVR, visit https://www.pikevillehospital.org/services/heart-and-vascular-institute/