Some high-risk heart patients no longer have to head to St. Louis or to a large university hospital for certain heart procedures.
A Quincy Medical Group interventional cardiologist is now performing two new procedures that you used to have to travel several miles to get.
KHQA's Rajah Maples spoke with him about how the minimally invasive procedures work and what they mean for the area.
Dr. Stilianos Efstratiadis or Dr. E. says aortic valvuloplasty is for patients who have aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve, who can't tolerate open-heart surgery.
He said, "We go with a wire through the valve and we balloon across the valve, so by ballooning the valve, we make the valve less narrow. It's an out-patient procedure. The patient comes in the hospital and the next day leaves."
Dr. E says the procedure won't replace surgery. But it will give patients who are not eligible for surgery, extended lifespan and better quality of life.
Patients also can now get what's called an impella heart pump. It's a small pump put inside the heart that helps strengthen the pumping function in patients' where their hearts are too weak. This way doctors can perform high-risk stent procedures with impella support, In patients that otherwise would be life threatening The device, can be placed inside the heart through the left groin. Dr. E trained to perform the two heart procedures at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, and then brought them to Quincy about two months ago.
Dr. E said, "This is the future. It was time to bring those procedures to Quincy. This is great for Quincy, because we're transforming the local heart and vascular center to a chest pain referral center for the region. We are the only place in the region, as far as I can tell, including Springfield and St. Louis, that we are able to do this procedure."
Dr. E's first patient here in Quincy was a woman in her 80s who he says is now getting along well.
To see the full Impella procedure, click here.
To see the full aortic valvuloplasty procedure, click here.