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Cardiac Care Remains a Beat Ahead at Memorial Hospital

At Dignity Health - Memorial Hospital, our cardiologists remain a beat ahead with cardiac procedures. Memorial Hospital is the first hospital out of CommonSpirit Health’s 140 hospitals nationwide to perform the groundbreaking Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation procedure using Abbott's Navitor™ TAVI System. 

This advancement in minimally invasive cardiac procedures is designed to address the critical needs of patients suffering from aortic valve stenosis and revolutionizes the treatment landscape for local patients who are at high risk for conventional open-heart surgery.

During the TAVI procedure, Dr. Caleb Thompson, Medical Director of the Structural Heart Program and Dr. Eric Peck, Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Memorial Hospital’s Sarvanand Heart and Brain Center worked together to guide a specially designed catheter through a small incision, typically in the groin area. The catheter is then threaded up to the heart, where the new valve is precisely positioned within the native aortic valve. Once securely in place, the new valve is expanded, effectively replacing the damaged valve and restoring proper blood flow.

Innovative cardiac care doesn't just happen by chance. "Memorial's team of cardiac specialists are committed to delivering the latest advancements in medical technology to our patients," said Dr. Peck. “By working together, we are able to deliver new and innovative treatment options right here in Kern County.”

Dr. Thompson agrees, adding, "Since launching its TAVR program seven years ago, Memorial has continued to invest in new technology that is changing lives for cardiac patients in our community. The procedure was a great success, and the patient is doing well. This represents a major breakthrough in our ability to provide personalized, innovative care for individuals suffering from severe aortic valve stenosis.” 

Aortic valve stenosis, a common and potentially life-threatening condition, occurs when the aortic valve narrows, obstructing blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Historically, open-heart surgery has been the standard treatment for aortic valve replacement, but not all patients are suitable candidates for this approach due to their age or underlying health conditions. The new TAVI procedure now provides a viable alternative for those patients. 

Advantages of Abbott's Navitor TAVI System includes:

  • Minimally Invasive: TAVI requires smaller incisions, reducing recovery time and the risk of complications.

  • Shorter Hospital Stay: Patients experience shorter hospital stays, allowing them to return to their lives faster.

  • Suitable for High-Risk Patients: TAVI offers a treatment option for patients who may not be candidates for open-heart surgery due to age or other medical conditions.

  • Improved Quality of Life: TAVI patients often report significant improvement in symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain.

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