Authors: Ethan Korngold, M.D., FSCAI, division chair, Interventional Cardiology and Structural Heart Center, Providence Heart Institute; Eric Kirker, M.D., senior medical director, Cardiac and Vascular Surgery, Providence Heart Institute
Sharon Petersen’s mother, grandmother and adult daughter all died of heart disease. Now 78, Sharon herself has battled with heart disease for decades. However, in May 2021, she underwent an innovative procedure called transcatheter mitral valve replacement and repair, or TMVR, at Providence Valve Center (a part of Providence Heart Institute).
About TMVR and Providence Valve Center
TMVR allows for the heart’s mitral valve to be completely replaced without having to do open-heart surgery, using a catheter-based approach from the femoral vein or the apex of the heart. This breakthrough technology can be used for patients with mitral regurgitation (leakiness) or calcified mitral valves with mitral stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation. This technology currently is available only through clinical trials offered through Providence Valve Center, which has performed nine of the procedures since May 2021.
Providence Valve Center is led by a team of interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, palliative care physicians, echocardiographers and research associates that provides the latest, minimally invasive, catheter-based techniques for the treatment of heart and valve disease. Conditions treated include aortic valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, atrial septal defects, patent foramen ovale and several others.
The group works together to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient and referring physician.
Details about Sharon’s case
Sharon Petersen was the center’s second patient to undergo TMVR.
“I think it’s pretty wonderful,” she says, adding that the recovery time was easier than any of her other heart procedures. She had her first triple bypass at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in 1983 and 13 years ago had her second one. In 2020 she had transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) at Providence St. Vincent.
In the spring of 2021, she was quite ill and was in overt heart failure and was admitted to the hospital. The risk of a third open-heart surgery to replace the mitral valve was too great. Fortunately, Sharon qualified for the clinical trial in May and successfully underwent the TMVR procedure. Her procedure was performed from the apex of the heart, taking about two hours and not requiring cardiopulmonary bypass.
“For this surgery, I started perking up about six months after I had it done,” Sharon says, adding that she’s made a good recovery though still feels fatigued at times. She likes to stay active – spending time with her husband of 58 years, working in her garden and walking in her neighborhood.
“I absolutely adore my valve team,” says Sharon. “They were wonderful, and it’s enjoyable to have conversations with them. They’ve made my life pretty easy.”
Sharon’s Providence Valve Center providers include Ethan Korngold, M.D., Brandon Jones, M.D., Eric Kirker, M.D., Craig Walsh, M.D., and Christine Carey, PA.
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