Trusted Cardiovascular Treatments and Heart Exams
When open heart surgery is required, Glenwood’s specialized heart team is ready, with a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon and a highly experienced surgery staff, allowing patients and their families to remain in familiar surroundings, close to home before, during and after surgery. A designated heart suite in Glenwood’s Surgery Department ensures that the highest quality care is maintained.
The interventional cardiology program is dedicated to the non-surgical management of patients with cardiac and peripheral vascular disorders. Our history of excellence and innovation is distinguished.
Many patients first come to the Institute for diagnostic testing. Diagnostic testing performed by qualified technologists at Glenwood include:
- Stress tests
- Ambulatory electrocardiography (Holter Monitoring)
- Nuclear Cardiology
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Rhythm Disorders
- Pacemakers and Defibrillators
What is a Hybrid OR?
The Hybrid OR Surgical Suite is the most innovative approach to vascular and heart care available in our region. This unique operating room blends the technologies of advanced surgical approaches with crisp, high-tech imaging services. The Hybrid OR is a cardiovascular catheterization lab with immediate surgical capabilities, designed to enable cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons to work side by side in the same room, at the same time, in the best interest of their patients.
The Cardiac Rehabilitation program is designed for individuals who have experienced a heart attack, bypass surgery, angioplasty/stent, chest pains, valve disease or individuals with multiple risk factors for developing heart disease.
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit will assist you in setting achievable goals for resuming a healthier lifestyle through exercise, and education. With your physician, an exercise prescription will be provided for you by the Cardiac Rehab staff that is tailored for your individual needs and goals.
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is designed for individuals who have chronic lung diseases. All pulmonary rehab programs consist of two areas; exercise and education.
At your first visit, our pulmonary rehab team will evaluate your overall physical condition and then develop a comprehensive treatment program. Your individual program may include exercises specific to your needs, physical and/or respiratory therapy, education about your condition, medications, nutrition, and one – on – one or group counseling.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
What it is
The aortic valve is located between the pumping chamber on the left side of the heart and the aorta, which is a major artery. The aorta carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The valve should be closed while the heart is filling with blood. When the heart chamber squeezes to push blood into the aorta, the valve should open fully to allow blood flow.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a means of replacing your aortic valve that is narrowed by a method which is much less invasive than traditional aortic valve replacement surgery.
Reasons for Procedure
TAVR allows physicians to replace a severely narrowed aortic valve due to aortic stenosis without a conventional chest incision.
Aortic stenosis is a condition that results from narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart. When this narrowing occurs it can put increased stress and pressure on the heart muscle. This can lead to many symptoms, including chest discomfort or pain, shortness of breath, leg swelling, fatigue, or fainting. Left untreated, the heart muscle can weaken over time resulting in worsening of symptoms and premature death. The most common cause of aortic stenosis is degenerative (age related calcium deposits).
Alternatives to TAVR
- Medical Therapy – There are certain medications that may be prescribed to alleviate some of the symptoms of aortic stenosis. These do not stop the progression of the disease.
- Conventional Aortic Valve Replacement – Your aortic valve is replaced through a large incision on the front of your chest while on a heart-lung machine.
- Balloon Aortic Valvuloplasty – A balloon is inserted into your aortic valve through a catheter which temporarily enlarges the valve opening. This may result in a three to six month improvement of symptoms but has not been shown to prolong your life.
If you are planning to have a valve replacement, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Blood clot formation resulting in a stroke or kidney damage
- Valve does not function correctly
- Complications from anesthesia
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Other heart conditions
- Lung conditions
- Chronic illness, including high blood pressure and diabetes
- Increased age
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Before your procedure you will meet with one or more of the physicians to discuss your history. You will then likely be referred for further testing which may help determine if the TAVR procedure is right for you. This testing may include:
- Cardiac Catheterization. A small catheter is threaded into your heart from a blood vessel in your arm or leg. This is done to obtain images of your coronary arteries.
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram. A small camera is passed through your esophagus to obtain high quality images of your heart.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) of chest, abdomen and pelvis. Contrast solution is injected into a vein followed by CT scan images to determine the best approach and valve size.
Talk to your doctor about your medication. You may need to stop taking certain medication for one week before surgery, such as:
- Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin (Coumadin)
- Anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Diabetes medications, such as metformin (Glucophage)
Your doctor may also ask you to:
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight, unless told otherwise by your doctor.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
- Arrange for help at home after the procedure.
TAVR is done with general anesthesia. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
The most common approach for the TAVR procedure is:
- Transfemoral – A catheter is inserted through the artery in your groin area and carefully passed up into the heart. Your new valve is then implanted through this catheter inside the narrowed valve.
After the Procedure
You will be monitored in an intensive care unit after the procedure. When you wake up, you will notice that you are attached to a number of devices, which may include:
- Monitors to track your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and the percentage of oxygen in your bloodstream
- A catheter in your bladder to drain urine
- An IV to provide fluids, electrolytes, and pain medicines directly into a vein
How Long Will It Take?
The procedure can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will block pain during the surgery. You will be given pain medicine to help manage the pain after the surgery.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is one night. The length of stay will depend on your overall health and your recovery progress.
You will be taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after your TAVR, where you will be cared for by skilled critical care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, therapists and technicians. The nurses will assist you with coughing, deep breathing and getting out of bed. These are important keys to your recovery. When you are ready to leave the ICU you will move to a hospital bed for your continued recovery.
Recovering after Surgery/What to Expect
It is important for you to remember that the full recovery from your TAVR will take time. All patients take their own course, and some make faster or slower progress than others. Most patients have improvement of symptoms within one week.
A follow-up appointment will be made about a week after your procedure.
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Learn more about TAVR.
To learn more about TAVR, contact Jaclyn Green, BSN, RN, Glenwood TAVR Coordinator. Call Jaclyn at 318-329-4462 or by email at [email protected]
James C. of Delhi
For over 20 years, James had lived with a leaky tricuspid valve; the first valve that blood flows through in the heart. He always took proper precautions by seeing a cardiologist regularly to make sure that everything was in check.
Then James began experiencing an unusual shortness of breath during simple daily activities. He recognized it as a warning sign and made an appointment with his cardiologist. A heart cath was performed which confirmed that his leaky valve was the direct cause. His cardiologist then referred James to cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Dr. Harry Donias at Glenwood for tricuspid valve repair.
Since his surgery, James feels much better and has gotten back into his daily activities with no problems. He and his wife both agree that Dr. Donias and his staff were wonderful and made them feel that they were in the right place. Dr. Donias had an excellent bedside manner and never seemed rushed while he explained the procedure and answered their questions.
Mary K.G. of Ruston
While Mary K. was helping her only daughter plan for her wedding, she began feeling unusually fatigued and short of breath. At first, she blamed it on her busy schedule. But not feeling good soon led to discomfort in her chest and a harder time catching her breath. Mary K. still didn't think it was serious but decided to tell her mother who encouraged her to see a doctor.
Because of her symptoms, Mary K.’s doctor sent orders to have a stress test performed that revealed abnormalities. She was then sent to Glenwood for a heart cath, which confirmed that cardiac surgery was needed. Cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Dr. Harry Donias performed coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG) and successfully improved the blood flow through her heart.
“The whole staff at Glenwood's Heart and Vascular unit were absolutely awesome, kind, and very attentive. Dr. Donias was exceptional and made me feel at ease," she said.
“Everything becomes very real when your mortality is realized. I appreciate the little things in life so much more and try not to worry as much," she said.
Headline Health Videos
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG), including the off-pump procedure
- Minimally invasive CABG, including endoscopic vein harvesting
- Valve repair, valve replacement
- Carotid artery stenting
- Coronary angioplasty and stenting
- Coronary angioscopy
- Percutaneous clot removal for heart and vascular blockages
- Peripheral arterial angioplasty and stenting
- Renal artery stenting