CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System Offers Complete Continuum of Heart Care with Newly Added TAVR Procedures

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John Segraves’ heart was failing him. He couldn’t work in the yard or enjoy his grandkids’ activities without feeling drained and exhausted. But after undergoing a leading-edge heart surgery, John is back at it … in fact, he was out mowing just a couple of weeks after the procedure.

Cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiac interventionalists and a support team of cardiac, anesthesia and imaging professionals from CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System began performing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Procedures (TAVR) recently, adding to the heart care services now available at CHRISTUS St. Michael.

Segraves wasn’t feeling terrible… just tired, like every day was long. He was having regular check-ups with his cardiologist, Dr. Brent Robinson, who consulted with Dr. Thomas Hoang, cardiothoracic surgeon, and Dr. Seth Hale, interventional cardiologist. They along with Dr. Reginald Baptiste, cardiothoracic surgeon, are physician members of the team which performs the TAVR procedures. The physicians agreed the TAVR would be the best course of treatment for Mr. Segraves.

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“TAVR provides a unique option for patients who are not optimal candidates for traditional open-heart surgery,” said Seth Hale, M.D., interventional cardiologist. “The minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve.”

“Perhaps most importantly, the addition of the TAVR procedure to our array of treatment options really expands the continuum of care available for heart patients in our region,” said Kevin Hayes, M.D., Medical Director of the CHRISTUS St. Michael Electrophysiology Lab. “We offer leading-edge programs in minimally invasive heart and thoracic surgery, treatment of arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction (MI), and peripheral vascular disease, along with outstanding programs focused on cardiac rehabilitation, patient education and research. Essentially, if a patient is having a heart problem of any kind, the patient can visit St. Michael and be assured of the most comprehensive and capable care performed by highly trained and distinguished providers.”

After the minimally invasive procedure and just a couple of nights in the hospital, Segraves is back to his former self – maybe even better. He still works, enjoys being outside, loves spending time with his family, especially at baseball games, softball games, and pig and cattle showmanship competition. Now, thanks to the team at CHRISTUS St. Michael, he knows he’ll be able to do it longer.

“[I would tell everyone] if you have this condition, have the TAVR procedure done and quickly,” said Segraves. “I felt really comfortable and was happy to be closer to home and still be able to receive this care – it was easier on family and friends. And, I sure do think it has affected my quality of life and my length of life.”

Recognized as a Top 50 Heart Hospital in the country, CHRISTUS St. Michael is the first hospital to provide TAVR procedures in this region. The heart program has been built upon years of pioneering heart care for residents in the four-states area and is cultivating a new era in improved cardiac care and patient safety. This approach to heart care incorporates the latest technologies and processes, while also including healing concepts and patient-centered features that involve the family along with medical staff to ensure the best possible outcomes.

“We are excited that our highly skilled team is now offering TAVR, as it provides an option for patients to improve their quality of life when facing aortic valve disease,” said Carson Corbell, BSN, RN, Valve Program Coordinator.

CHRISTUS St. Michael performs some of the highest volumes of minimally invasive treatments in the four-states region and is a renowned for its high quality of care.

The TAVR procedures are successful in replacing the aortic valve of the patients, several of whom suffered from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, an inability of the aortic valve to open. Similar to when a stent is placed into an artery, the TAVR procedure involves advancing a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter, which is guided to the chambers of the heart through arterial access.

Once the new replacement valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve out of the way and the replacement valve functions to regulate proper blood flow. The TAVR procedure is performed under general anesthesia and is usually completed in less than two hours. Patients from these procedures are usually home within five days and are able to begin getting back into their normal daily lives very quickly.

To learn more about heart valve disease or your risk for heart disease, go to https://www.christushealth.org/st-michael/services-treatments/heart-valve-disease.

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