Owensboro Health Expands Structural Heart Program - Owensboro Health

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Published on April 21, 2017

Owensboro Health Expands Structural Heart Program

Our Structural Heart Team (l/r) Hillary Hale, Dr. Ken Ung, Dr. Abdelkader Almanfi, Dr. Douglas Adams, Dr. Peter Gregor, Dr. Bill Bryant.

The Structural Heart Program at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital is continuing to grow its services and capabilities, which means local patients have more options for advanced heart care.

The Structural Heart Program, which was created in late 2016, expands Owensboro Health’s ability to deliver vital heart care. Dr. Abdelkader Almanfi, an interventional cardiologist and vascular specialist with Owensboro Health Cardiology, said that structural heart care became possible within the last decade thanks to advances in technology and medical science.

“It’s a new branch that provides less-invasive therapy to structural heart and heart valve problems,” Dr. Almanfi said. “These procedures are able to fix problems that previously could only be corrected by surgery.”

Dr. Almanfi said structural heart care is a revolution in medicine to help a larger patient population by serving those patients who are not able to undergo surgery. This includes patients who are in very poor health, those with complicated medical conditions, or those who are at high or intermediate risk for surgical complications.

Some of the procedures performed by a structural heart program include:

  • Closing holes in the walls between chambers of the heart (Patent Foramen Ovale, Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect)
  • Repairing or replacing narrowed, worn or malfunctioning aortic or mitral heart valves (Examples include the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement [TAVR] procedure and the MitraClip® device)
  • Implanting a device that offers an alternative to blood thinners for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation of the heart (WATCHMAN™ Implant)

Implementing and running a structural heart program also takes teamwork, Dr. Almanfi said. The structural heart team at Owensboro Health now meets weekly to discuss cases and plan treatment strategies for patients. That team includes an interventional cardiologist, Dr. Almanfi, as well as cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists, a structural heart nurse coordinator and other experts.

“That team approach proved to be good for outcomes and became an essential part of structural work. That's to guarantee the patient gets the best option available to them based on the team's decision,” Dr. Almanfi said.

Owensboro Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Scherm said offering this kind of care locally can make a difference for people with no other options.

“Traveling out of the area to receive care may represent a hardship and may not be an option for patients who need these interventions,” Dr. Scherm said. “Owensboro Health’s ability to offer this level of advanced care can make a significant difference for our patients. We’re not only trying to increase their lifespan, but improve their quality of life so they can go back to doing the activities they enjoy.”

For more information about the Structural Heart Program at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, visit www.owensborohealth.org/structuralheart.

Contact: Brian Hamby, Director of Owensboro Health Marketing & Public Relations, (O) 270-685-7749, (C) 270-316-4274, Brian.Hamby@owensborohealth.org.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering and the only hospital in the world to be designated a Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International, Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital, the One Health medical group comprising over 180 providers in 25 locations, a certified medical fitness facility, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center. Owensboro Health has been recognized for outstanding care, safety and clinical excellence by The Joint Commission, U.S. News & World Report and Becker’s Hospital Review. As the largest employer west of Louisville, Owensboro Health has 4,088 employees, and in FY 2015 saw 18,380 inpatient admissions and 823,072 outpatient encounters. A committed community partner, Owensboro Health provided grants of $702,924 in the last year to health, social service, education and arts agencies across the region. For more information, visit owensborohealth.org.

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