Provider Update

Spring 2012

A message from: David Laxon, MD, Executive Medical Director

Welcome to another issue of Provider Update, in which we highlight some of the Cardiovascular Services provided by University of Minnesota Physicians Heart at Fairview. Currently, we serve patients in 12 convenient Twin Cities locations. In September, we will add another location at Fairview Clinics – Fridley.

In this issue, Greg Helmer, MD and Ganesh Raveendran, MD provide an overview on our groundbreaking Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program, which allows nonsurgical aortic valve replacement for patients with high risk severe aortic valve stenosis. Ranjit John, MD discusses the capabilities of our cardiac surgery team that performs procedures at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina and University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview in Minneapolis, while Steven Heifetz, MD and Suma Konety, MD speak about our Cardio-Oncology Program. Finally, Bob Wilson, MD takes us through past and present innovations at the University of Minnesota. Please feel free to contact me at dlaxson1@mac.com with any questions about our program.

Articles

  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program gives hope to inoperable patients

    University of Minnesota Physicians Heart has a new groundbreaking Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program that integrates multiple disciplines to provide a revolutionary treatment for patients with inoperable aortic stenosis.

    In September 2010, a randomized multicenter trial evaluated treatment methods for patients with inoperable aortic stenosis. The trial compared standard medical therapy to Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI). The results demonstrated a 46 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 61 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality at 24 months with treatment by TAVR. Based on these findings, the FDA approved the Edwards-Sapien TAVI in patients with inoperable aortic stenosis.

    Shortly following the release of the Edwards-Sapien TAVI, we assembled a TAVR team at University of Minnesota Physicians Heart. All implantations are performed in the hybrid (catherization lab-OR ) room at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. Since our first implant in March, 12 patients have received this therapy, giving them a chance at a new life.

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  • Cardiac Surgery Program continues to evolve

    Surgeons from the University of Minnesota were among the first in the world to develop techniques that surgically correct heart defects in children and adults. They also are leaders in minimally invasive heart surgery techniques and surgical therapies for heart failure. Cardiac surgery is performed at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina and University of Minnesota
    Medical Center, Fairview, in Minneapolis.

    The University of Minnesota Physicians Heart cardiac surgical group offers expertise in valve, aortic, cardiac arrhythmia and heart-failure surgery, as well as in minimally invasive heart surgery. The team uses the Da Vinci robotic device to perform coronary artery bypass grafting, along with small thoracic incisions to perform valve repair
    and replacements.

    A more recent partnership between our surgeons and cardiologists involves the implementation of a specialized heart valve disease clinic. The clinic sees patients weekly at Fairview Southdale Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. Patients are evaluated simultaneously by cardiac surgeons and cardiologists, and also have the opportunity to
    learn more about therapeutic alternatives, including catheter techniques and surgery options.

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  • Cancer patients at risk for heart disease

    Several widely used chemotherapy drugs, including anthracyclines and cyclophosphamide, can result in unintended cardiac effects. Given the fact that the majority of cancer patients are more susceptible to heart disease, it is important that they be evaluated for risk before beginning treatment. Several newer agents such as herceptin and other tyrosine kinase inhibitors also can have serious effects on the heart, including heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances and hypertension.

    As one of the first Cardio-Oncology programs in the Midwest,cardiologists at University of Minnesota Physicians Heart at Fairview have been at the forefront of breakthroughs in cardiovascular care of cancer patients. We use the latest advanced imaging technology and a multidisciplinary team approach that includes complementary medicine, genetics, rehabilitation, and nutrition services. Preventative measures, early detection of heart damage, and management of cardiac complications associated with chemotherapy have demonstrated successful outcomes for cancer patients.

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  • Innovations at University of Minnesota Physicians Heart

    At University Of Minnesota Physicians Heart, we thrive on innovation. Our Interventional Cardiology Program has been a national leader in developing many of the advances in the treatment of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction. In the 1960s, physicians at the University of Minnesota helped develop coronary angiography to take pictures of the arteries and find blockages in the arteries feeding the heart. This advancement led University of Minnesota surgeons to develop surgical methods for bypassing the coronary lesions in the coronary arteries. In the 1980s and 90s, physicians at the University of Minnesota developed newer, more accurate, physiologically based methods, such as fractional flow reserve (FFR ) and coronary flow reserve. As a result, our physicians were able to measure which patients would most benefit from surgery or angioplasty. Many people called it a “science project” and didn’t think that it would play a significant role in treating patients. We now know that these advances not only predicted which patients would benefit from revascularization, but most important, they saved lives.

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