A Lifesaving Alternative for Patients at High Risk for Traditional Surgery
“I was getting tired-er and tired-er, and I could do less and less,” says 85-year-old Howard Shoup of Wooster, Ohio.
When Mr. Shoup came to the Structural Heart Disease Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, he was debilitated by shortness of breath caused by congestive heart failure.
Evaluated at Ohio State’s multidisciplinary heart valve clinic, Mr. Shoup was soon scheduled to undergo a transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
“They told me I had a heart valve that was about ready to quit, and it might have been within two or three days of quitting when I had the operation,” Mr. Shoup says.
Since 2010, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center has been one of only a few centers in the region that offer this cutting-edge alternative for patients who are considered inoperable or at high risk for conventional surgery.
The procedural outcomes are comparable to those of conventional surgery—improved quality of life for patients who previously suffered from debilitating shortness of breath, chest pain and/or fatigue. As a result of the minimally invasive approach, there are smaller incisions, reduced hospital stays and shorter recovery times.
“For most of the patients we treat, it is their only option. They all have co-morbidities—previous surgeries, strokes, many conditions that would make traditional surgery too risky. Without this less invasive option, they would not survive,” says Juan Crestanello, MD, co-director of the Structural Heart Program and assistant professor of Surgery, who performed Mr. Shoup’s procedure.
In the last two years, nearly 60 patients have undergone the procedure at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, and the program is growing as more practitioners become aware of this new treatment option.
Ohio State among the World’s Largest Sites for Valve Trials
Patients undergoing this procedure at Ohio State may receive one of two devices. In addition to the Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve, which is U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved for high-risk cases, patients also have unique access to the Medtronic CoreValve System, which is being studied by clinical trial in the United States.
Ohio State was among the highest enrollers in the high-profile Medtronic CoreValve U.S. Pivotal Trial and among the first 20 U.S. centers to participate in the Surgical Replacement and Transcathether Aortic Valve Implantation (SURTAVI) Trial, giving heart patients like Howard Shoup an opportunity not available in most hospitals.
Today, Howard Shoup’s quality of life is dramatically different. Although still in therapy, he is now able to travel, exercise and enjoy reclaimed time with his wife, three children and seven grandchildren.
“They took wonderful care of us,” Mr. Shoup says of the Structural Heart Disease Program. “It was the most outstanding care I’ve ever encountered.”