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St. Elizabeth opens new valve center

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2013) —  St. Elizabeth Healthcare has opened a new valve center within the Heart and Vascular Institute at its Edgewood campus. The center establishes a triage option for patients with aortic stenosis to be evaluated by a team of specialists to determine the best course of treatment. The purpose of the valve center is to triage patients that may be appropriate for vascular intervention including TAVR (coming spring 2014) and traditional valve surgery.

Led by St. Elizabeth co-medical director Saeb Khoury, M.D. and Victor Schmelzer, M.D., the center will utilize a multi-specialty, team-based approach to the diagnosis and treatment options for aortic stenosis. The team features cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, anesthesiologists, and a patient navigator.

“This is the beginning of a new era in cardiology where we are going less and less invasive in trying to manage heart valve disease (both aortic and mitral) in a minimally invasive fashion,” said Schmelzer. “We strive to provide optimal management to these patients and that’s best achieved in a center where the surgeons and cardiologists are together in one place to assess patients and review the echocardiogram, angiogram and cath lab findings.”

Until recently, patients with severe aortic stenosis had only one real option for treatment—open heart surgery. If the patient was too sick or too frail for that highly traumatic surgery, the diagnosis could often end up being a slow death sentence.

“Patients will have a one-stop shop, where they will have full assessments by a cardiologist and surgeon and a better understanding of their individual management plan by the time they leave the center,” added Khoury.

For more information or a referral, call St. Elizabeth at (859) 301-8287.