Image courtesy of St. Joseph's Children's Hospital
"This accomplishment reflects the dedication of our entire congenital cardiac team," said Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Jeremy Ringewald, who is the director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. "Most importantly, this means that we allowed 250 patients in need of pulmonary or tricuspid valve replacement to avoid open-heart surgery."
Tampa resident John Pino, 57, was the recipient of the 250th valve. He was born with pulmonary stenosis, a heart defect in which the pulmonary valve is narrowed and opens poorly. Pino underwent open-heart surgery when he was 9 years old to open up the narrowed valve, trading blockage for leakage. Eventually, the leakage led to enlargement of his heart and diminished exercise tolerance.
"When it was determined that I would need to have my leaky pulmonary valve replaced, I was very happy to discover that Dr. Ringewald could do the repair without the need for another open-heart surgery," said Pino.
During the procedure, Dr. Ringewald inserted the valve loaded on its delivery catheter into a vein in Pino's leg and guided the catheter by fluoroscopy to the location of his leaky pulmonary valve. The new valve was deployed inside the old valve and once released, it immediately began functioning.
The team at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital has implanted the most transcatheter pulmonary valves in Florida since the program's inception and is one of the leading centers in the United States.
"It's been a long, challenging and deeply gratifying odyssey for our congenital cardiac team and program. I could not be prouder of our cardiac crew or happier for our patients," said Dr. Ringewald.
Pino's procedure was a success and instead of spending a week in the hospital, which is typical of most open-heart surgical procedures, he was discharged after just one day.
"I'm so grateful to Dr. Ringewald and the entire heart team for taking such excellent care of me," said Pino.
The Patel Children's Heart Institute at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is home to the Tampa Bay area's only comprehensive congenital heart disease program. Its team of cardiac physicians perform hundreds of procedures each year to treat heart defects in patients of any age. A partnership between St. Joseph's Children's Hospital and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh provides families across Florida with unprecedented access to the highest level of pediatric heart care available. Together, they provide highly specialized cardiovascular care for patients ranging from babies in the womb to adults with congenital heart disease.
For more information: www.baycare.org