HEART HEALTH: Heart patients have several surgical options - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HEART HEALTH: Heart patients have several surgical options

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UNDATED (KTIV)- Surgery on your heart can range from simple, to sophisticated.

Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "As we have discussed it in our previous programs, we have valves in the heart in order for the blood to travel only in the forward direction. With age and wear and tear the nice and thin shape of the valves changes to thicker and stiffer shape. So it either doesn't open well or doesn't close well. This is what we call a tight valve or a leaky valve. It comes in 3 versions, mild, moderate and severe. Once the valve is either severely tight or severely leaky the only way to fix it is to operate on it one way or the other. Usually a person with severe valve disease has shortness of breath or chest pain with activity."

Matt Breen, Reporting, "What options does the patient have?" Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "Lets take the aortic valve which is the valve that is most commonly operated on. There are now several options available to consider. One is the good old fashion open heart surgery where we cut the breast bone open and replace the valve. The other option is known as minimally invasive surgery where instead of cutting the breast bone open, you make a smaller cut at the side of the chest and access the heart through a smaller hole. And lastly there is transcutaneous valve replacement procedure. In this procedure you don't take the old valve out and replace it with a new one, instead you put another valve inside the old valve. Technically it is a complicated procedure but since last year this procedure has been approved and is no longer experimental."

Matt Breen, Reporting, "What is the upside, and downside, with each surgery?" Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "The open heart surgery is a good choice when there is a lot needs to be done like double valve surgery, or valve and coronary artery surgery. The minimal invasive surgery is good when dealing with 1 valve and nothing else. The transcutaneous procedure is at this point for patients. who are considered too sick to have the other types of surgeries. Usually it is reserved for patients. who have severe symptoms of heart failure but are very old or very sick to have the surgeries."

Matt Breen, Reporting, "Do we perform any of these procedures in Sioux City?" Dr. Ramin Artang, Mercy Cardiology says, "My good friend and colleague Dr. Gurbuz very skilled surgeon has done hundreds of these procedures prior to coming to Sioux city. We have done several of the minimally invasive procedures at Mercy with excellent outcomes. For the very old and very sick with lots of symptoms. Here comes the art of medicine in the picture. The doctor really needs to take in the consideration yes, they have this bad valve, and yes we can technically fix it one way or the other, but would the pt. do a whole lot better after the procedure or because of all the other conditions they continue to do poorly. And if the answer is yes their condition will improve significantly if they get the valve fixed we will refer them to a larger university center. If the need in the community increases for that particular group of patients, we will consider doing them here down the line when that time comes."

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