PIKEVILLE, KY (WOWK) – Pikeville Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Institute reached a major milestone this week, when a team of cardiac specialists completed the hospital’s 100th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement procedure on May 17.

The TAVR procedure is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery for treating aortic stenosis, which is when the valve in the large blood vessel that branches off the heart is narrowed. Health experts say the TAVR procedure gives cardiac patients who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery another, potentially, life-saving option.

The PMC’s cardiac team performed its first TAVR procedure in January 2019.

“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.”

Officials with PMC say the procedure generally takes about an hour and involves inserting a new valve attached to a catheter, which the physician guides through the body via arteries. The replacement valve is deployed and secured in place once the diseased aortic valve is reached.

The team at PMC’s Heart and Vascular Center involved in the TAVR procedures includes cardiothoracic surgeons Dermot Halpin, MD; Paul Randhawa, MD, FACS; and Abdula Attum, MD; along with Interventional cardiologists Muhammad Ahmad, MD; Deepak Pattanshetty, MD; and Arun Nagabandi, MD.

“Reaching this milestone is a significant achievement for Pikeville Medical Center,” said 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.”

According to PMC, heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States, is increasingly prevalent in the Bluegrass State. The hospital says their Heart and Vascular Institute is committed to providing comprehensive cardiac care so that patients no longer have to travel far to receive advanced heart care.

“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 the hospital’s website.