500th TAVR Procedure Performed at Shipley Cardiothoracic Center

(Fort Myers, Fla. – May 30, 2017) --- Shipley Cardiothoracic Center at HealthPark Medical Center marked a major milestone recently, as the 500th TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedure was completed. Lee Physician Group’s Brian Hummel, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon, led the team to complete the landmark procedure. The TAVR procedure is a non-surgical alternative for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are ineligible for open-heart surgery.

“As a surgeon, it is gratifying to be able to help so many patients who previously had a grim outlook. Because TAVR does not require surgery, it is an alternative for otherwise high-risk patients,” Dr. Hummel says. “Helping the seriously ill improve their health and quality of life is our goal; TAVR allows us to offer hope to so many more.”

This new milestone reinforces the experience and expertise of the team at Shipley Center. “As one of the first 30 sites in the U.S. to offer the TAVR procedure, our team at Shipley Center has helped hundreds of people extend and improve their lives. In medicine, experience improves outcomes, and the team at the Shipley Center is one of the most experienced nationwide,” says Scott Nygaard, M.D., Chief Medical and Clinical Integration Officer, Lee Health.

Aortic stenosis is the most prevalent heart valve disease and the third most common cardiovascular condition after coronary artery disease and hypertension. It affects up to 1.5 million people in the United States and approximately 250,000 of these patients suffer from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, often developing debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal, day-to-day activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs.

The disease is age-related and caused by a buildup of calcium deposits that cause the valve to narrow and stiffen. The heart weakens as it works harder to pump blood out to the body. Patients may experience fainting, chest pain, heart failure, irregular heart rhythms and cardiac arrest. Without treatment, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is life-threatening and most patients will not survive two years.

TAVR is performed by feeding an artificial valve by catheter through the femoral artery in the groin to the heart. Once placed in the correct position, the artificial valve is opened and begins to function. Treatment with TAVR is expected to increase a patient’s survival rate by 30-40% over a five year period.

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org

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