Health & Hope Spring 2018

Health & Hope is a newsletter designed to educate and inspire Western Montanans on life-saving procedures, community events and services to keep you and your family healthy.

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A RECOGNIZED TEAM OF HEART EXPERTS For more information about the services and programs at the International Heart Institute, call 406-329-5615 or visit INSIDE LOOK Experienced specialists use advanced imaging to guide heart surgeries C hances are, if you undergo a complex heart procedure or surgery at the International Heart Institute (IHI) at Providence St. Patrick Hospital, you will need to have a transesophageal echocardiogram, or TEE. This ultra- sound gives cardiologists and surgeons a detailed picture of the inside of the heart. A few highly trained cardiologists and cardiac anesthesiologists perform these TEEs at IHI and are able to capture incredibly detailed 2-D and 3-D images of the heart valves and surrounding structures. Jocelyn Spoon, MD, is the director of the echocardiography department at IHI. She trained and practiced for many years at Mayo Clinic, and, like many Montanans working away from "home," when given the opportunity to move back to Big Sky Country, she jumped on it. "I grew up in Missoula and wanted to be closer to my family while giving back to the community that helped raise me," she says. 'TEAMWORK IS ESSENTIAL' Over the past decade, surgeries such as aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair have become much less invasive. If a person is unable to have open-heart surgery, these interventions may be performed through a small tube, called a catheter, which is placed in a blood vessel in the upper thigh or groin area and threaded up to the heart. The cardiologists and heart surgeons at IHI rely on structural heart imaging specialists like Dr. Spoon to help guide these procedures. "We will often have ve doctors, two nurses and two cath lab technicians in the room taking care of one patient during these complex cases," says Margarette Stearns, RN-BSN, CCRN, a cardiac cath lab nurse. "Teamwork is essential, and after you work with the same folks in thousands of cases, it becomes a well-choreographed dance." IMAGING IN ACTION The Watchman program at IHI, which launched in 2016, is one example where Dr. Spoon's expertise in structural heart echocardiography has been invaluable. The Watchman is a small device implanted in the heart. It reduces the risk for stroke in people who have atrial brillation and who are unable to take blood thinners. Atrial brillation, a type of irregular heartbeat, increases the risk for a stroke. The standard for lowering stroke risk is having patients take a blood thinner such as warfarin, which prevents clots from forming. Some people can't take blood thinners, however—if they have a history of bleeding or falling frequently, for example. The Watchman is designed for these patients. The Watchman is placed into the heart through a catheter. A combination of live X-ray and TEE allows doctors to view the heart in incredible detail during placement. Heart tissue forms over the Watchman, and within just 45 days most patients can stop taking their anticoagulant. A FIRST IN MONTANA More than 50 Watchman procedures have been performed at IHI, including the rst Watchman implant in Montana. IHI is a beacon for Montanans who would have to travel many miles to nd the same state-of-the-art cardiac care delivered by world-class professionals. Jocelyn Spoon, MD, uses imaging to improve the accuracy of minimally invasive heart procedures at the International Heart Institute. M O N TA N A . P R O V I D E N C E . O R G 7

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