Keeping Hearts Beating in Southeast Texas

Published 10:02 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Editorial by Mary W. Poole


Serving Southeast Texas for over 65 years, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas has had the unbelievable opportunity to touch hearts and save lives. Providing multiple cardiac treatment options ranging from radiofrequency ablation to angioplasty, coronary bypass to stent procedures; we are proud to be designated as a Chest Pain Certified and a Stroke Certified Hospital – having a long history of clinical excellence in cardiac care.


The human heart – small, fragile and powerful is a remarkable structure. Membranes constantly open and close to regulate the blood flow. When there is a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve opening, this is known as aortic stenosis (AS); not allowing normal blood flow. AS, affects up to 7 percent of the population over the age of 65, a progressive and a life-threatening disease that affects the heart’s main outflow valve.   If left untreated, 50 percent of symptomatic patients die within an average of two years. As a result, critical AS claims over 25,000 lives nationwide each year. Although age is usually the cause of this condition, a birth defect, rheumatic fever, or radiation therapy could also be contributing factors.


Today, a new therapy exist to treat critical AS called, “Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement” (TAVR). This minimally invasive option is designed for elderly patients who are too ill, or too frail, to undergo conventional open heart surgery. TAVR is performed in a specialized Hybrid Operating Room and by a specialty trained Heart Team comprised of both Interventional Cardiologist and Cardiac Surgeons. Together, our Heart Team screens patients, consults on care decisions, and works side-by-side in procedures.


For the first time in Southeast Texas, Baptist Beaumont Hospital will be providing TAVR to our community. Patients who quality for TAVR, and undergo this less invasive form of heart valve replacement, have a quicker recovery and a significant improvement in quality of life.


If you are your loved one needs advanced cardiac care, know your heart is in the right place at Baptist Beaumont Hospital. For more information, please call our “Heart Hotline” at 409-212-TAVR (8287 to schedule an appointment in our Heart and Valve Clinic.)


Mary W. Poole is Director Public Relations at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas