The Manatee Memorial Structural Heart Program

December 09, 2019
Structural Heart Team

Structural Heart Team Cardiologists and Cardiothoracic Surgeons. Back L-R: Brian Holyk, DO; S. Jay Mathews, MD; Eugene M. Parent, MD; Gino J. Sedillo, MD. Front L-R: James Nguyen, MD; Alessandro Golino, MD. Not pictured: Joseph Alesnik, MD; John Brock, MD; David Buck, DO; Daniel E. Friedman, MD; Joseph Pace, MD; Enrique Rivera, MD.

Heart issues can affect people of all different ages and levels of health. For individuals who are at higher risk, the Structural Heart Program at Manatee Memorial Hospital offers less-invasive treatment alternatives to open surgical procedures. Benefits for patients can include shorter hospital stays, quicker recoveries and a better quality of life.

In order to determine who may be a candidate for this specialized program, a team of highly skilled heart specialists works together to provide a full evaluation of each patient and decide the best course of treatment. Procedures offered for individuals who meet specific criteria include:

  • MitraClip® Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair, which is an alternative to open-heart surgery for treating mitral regurgitation. This condition occurs when the heart’s mitral valve does not close completely, which allows blood to flow backwards and can reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of the body.
  • Watchman™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant, which can help patients with atrial fibrillation who are at increased risk of stroke. This implant is designed to block an area of the heart where clots often form in patients with AFib.
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which can treat patients with severe symptoms of aortic stenosis, such as exertional angina and fatigue. Aortic stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve, which makes the heart work harder and can lead to weakening of the heart.

“Our surgeons have worked very hard to bring these technologies to our area,” says Erin Crowell, MSN, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for the Structural Heart Center and Valve Institute. “We have a strong surgical program that enables us to have the Structural Heart Program. They go hand in hand.” The volume of cases performed through the program speaks to the high level of care, she says. “For patients, it’s reassuring knowing they don’t have to travel long distances to get world-class treatment and technology.”

Strength in Numbers

An important difference in going to Manatee Memorial Hospital is the experience of the team and the many successful cases they have performed. “Manatee Memorial Hospital is number one in volume for 2019 in MitraClip in the state of Florida,” says Crowell. Since the hospital’s Structural Heart Program began in 2014 with the MitraClip procedure, doctors have performed approximately:

  • 280+ MitraClip
  • 370+ Watchman 
  • 250+ TAVR procedures

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.