“The Longview Regional Medical Center heart and vascular team is proud to offer this breakthrough technology for patients in the region. Longview Regional is currently the only facility offering this procedure between Dallas and Shreveport.” – Samir Germanwala, DO, FACC, FSCAI.
by Joycelyne Fadojutimi
Longview Regional Medical Center (LRMC) has become the first hospital in East Texas to perform the innovative, minimally invasive procedure to correct the severe heart condition of Severe Mitral Regurgitation. Called Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR,) this operation was performed by cardiologist Dr. Samir Germanwala and cardiovascular surgeon Dr. David Jayakar.
The mitral valve is found between the heart’s two left chambers and has two flaps of tissue which doctors call leaflets. In healthy hearts the leaflets open and close so that blood flows exclusively in the correct direction. In cases where the mitral valve does not completely close a condition called mitral regurgitation develops, causing blood to flow back into the heart. This places strain on the heart and lungs by forcing them to work too hard. This results in patients developing enlarged hearts and may lead to heart failure and other cardiovascular problems.
Before TMVR was perfected, the only available treatment for this condition was open-heart surgery. However, age, advanced heart failure or pre-existing health problems sometimes made open-heart surgery impractical for some patients. The new procedure is less invasive, providing a viable option for those unsuitable for open-heart operations.
Physicians carry out TMVR by accessing the heart through a vein in a patient’s leg, threading in a thin wire called a catheter. This device is clipped onto the mitral valve. Blood then flows on both sides of the clip, cutting back on backwash into the heart. The operation uses a catheter-based approach with no need for a median sternotomy or cardiopulmonary bypass. Germanwala is delighted with this revolutionary treatment, and eager to expand its use.
“The Longview Regional Medical Center heart and vascular team is proud to offer this breakthrough technology for patients in the region,” he says. “Longview Regional is currently the only facility offering this procedure between Dallas and Shreveport.”