February 28, 2019
Citrus Memorial Hospital today announced the completion of its first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) in its Heart and Vascular Center.
The minimally invasive procedure - an alternative to open heart surgery - was performed by a team consisting of Cardiovascular Surgeon Dr. Peter Yung Kim, Interventional Cardiologists Drs. Srivanas Attanti, Hari Kannam and Rama Krishna along with three other physicians, six registered nurses, and four cardiovascular techs. The procedure was completed in under two hours and took place in a recently remodeled hybrid operating room and catheterization suite - one of the Stanley J. Williams, MD Cardiac Catheterization Labs.
"We are committed to investing in the health and quality of life of our community," said Citrus Memorial Hospital CEO Ralph Aleman. "The addition of structural heart services like TAVR to our existing cardiac program will allow residents of Citrus and Hernando Counties to seek alternative treatment for aortic stenosis without traveling far from home."
The TAVR procedure allows a specially-trained team to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without open heart surgery. This is done using a self-expandable heart valve placed into the heart through a catheter. TAVR is unlike traditional open heart surgery in that it is a closed chest treatment that takes place while the patient's heart is still beating. It eliminates the need for a heart/lung machine and doesn't require stopping the patient's heart.
"An estimated 2.5 million people in the US over the age of 75 suffer from severe aortic stenosis. And, while there may be a latent period for a number of years, it is critical they seek treatment upon experiencing symptoms." said Dr. Rama Krishna. "TAVR is vitally important in a community like ours where conventional open heart surgery may not be the best treatment option for some of our most sick and elderly patients."
"That's why our team trained for nearly ten months both in our hospital and at other facilities. We also completed multiple dry runs and held weekly case conferences to ensure we would provide the best outcomes for patients who are too frail for traditional open heart surgery," added Dr. Hari Kannam.
According to Dr. Srivanas Attanti, Citrus Memorial Hospital's first TAVR patient can expect to remain in the hospital for two days and return to normal activity within one week. "Our first case went exceedingly well," he said. "The training and efforts our team has made over the past two years put us in the best position for a successful outcome."
Medical Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Dr. Peter Yung Kim credits the hospital's commitment to the community for providing this new service for patients with failing heart valves. "Citrus Memorial is investing in innovative technology, training staff members and constructing a state-of-the-art hybrid operating room and catheterization suite," he said, adding, "Citrus Memorial Hospital is demonstrating it truly exists for our community."