Friday, April 13, 2012
He was weak, short of breath and gasping for air during the night. Ted Wynn of Braxton, Miss. was very troubled with these issues. Pain would strike him forcing him to sit down til it subsided. He got to his local Emergency Room.
An echocardiogram showed that the 60-year-old had stiffening of the heart chambers as well as calcium build up on his aortic valve, which prevented the valve from functioning normally. These conditions caused congestive heart failure and put him at a very high risk of sudden death.
Due to the progressive nature of Wynn’s symptoms, he was sent to Interventional Cardiologist William Crowder, MD, with Jackson Heart Clinic. Dr. Crowder performed a diagnostic heart catheterization procedure and found Wynn had a significantly blocked coronary artery.
“A lot of people presenting with these same symptoms as Mr. Wynn just put off seeking medical evaluation,” added Dr. Crowder. “They think, ‘Well, I’m getting older and just don’t have the same stamina as I use to’.”
With two very serious heart problems, Dr. Crowder collaborated on a treatment plan with Cardiothoracic Surgeon William Harris, MD, with Baptist Cardiovascular Surgery. If Dr. Crowder was able to open the blocked coronary artery with a stent, Dr. Harris could perform a minimally invasive approach to aortic valve replacement. This approach would allow Dr. Harris to access the heart through a small 3 to 4 inch inscision instead of dividing the full breast bone 7 to 8 inches as in a traditional open heart surgery.
Dr. Harris said, “Without the stent procedure, we would have had to perform the traditional open heart approach to fix the occluded artery as well as replace the aortic valve with a larger incision in the breast bone. This would increase Mr. Wynn’s risk of bleeding and infection, as well as increase time in surgery, time on the heart-lung (bypass) machine, and potentially more pain.”
This collaborative team approach to fixing these two heart conditions was made possible by the existence of the Hybrid Operating Room (OR) at Baptist. It was one of the first times in the central Mississippi area this unique concept was performed. The Hybrid OR is a combined operating room and heart cath lab where, essentially, two or more heart specialists such as interventional cardiologists and heart surgeons can almost simultaneously perform two completely different treatments on one patient.
“This benefits the patient by limiting the number of procedures they have to endure, reducing the amount of anesthesia given, and expediting the patient’s recovery,” said Dr. Crowder.
Dr. Harris added, “When Baptist opened the Hybrid OR in early 2010, it represented the most technologically advanced one of its kind in Mississippi. Our Hybrid OR is high-tech enough to be converted, if the need arises, to offer full cardiovascular surgery capabilities all in the same room.”
The day after surgery, Wynn was sitting in a chair beside his hospital bed saying he was going to feel like a new man.
“It will be nice to go back to work and not be hurting and having to sit to catch my breath,” Wynn added.
Learn more about Baptist's Hybrid OR in this video featuring Charles O'Mara, MD.
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