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CVI Heartbeats

Patient Forum: The Heart of a Woman

Patient Forum: The Heart of a Woman

The CardioVascular Institute is sponsoring a free patient education event on women and cardiovascular disease on Saturday, June 16, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Newton Marriott Hotel. The event is being organized by cardiologist Loryn Feinberg, MD, Medical Director of the Women's Cardiovascular Program, and will be facilitated by former WCVB anchorwoman Heather Kahn. The program is designed to educate women about avoiding or managing cardiovascular disease as they age. Activities will include free screenings, chair massage, continental breakfast and box lunch. Please register by June 13 by calling the American Heart Association at 508-935-3903 or e-mailing . Co-sponsors are Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham and the American Heart Association.

Approval for CoreValve Continued Access Trial

In February 2011, a team of CVI interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons performed the first non-surgical implants in New England of a new artificial heart valve that may have the potential to prolong the life of patients with severe aortic valve disease. The experimental transcatheter aortic valve implant (TAVI) therapy was offered as part of a research study, the Medtronic CoreValve US Pivotal Trial.

In the procedure, the CoreValve - a spring-like, artificial valve - is delivered to the patient's heart through a catheter that is typically inserted through the groin.

Recently, BIDMC's Institutional Research Board approved a Continued Access Trial for CoreValve in patients who have an extreme risk for conventional aortic valve replacement surgery. As a result, the CVI continues to offer the CoreValve to these patients with very limited treatment options. The extreme risk portion of the original study completed enrollment in January 2012.

The CVI team has completed over 30 CoreValve implants to date.

LVAD Program to Launch in Fall

The CardioVascular Institute will launch a multi-disciplinary Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) program beginning early this fall, significantly broadening the range of treatment options the CVI offers patients with advanced heart failure. Previously, CVI physicians referred these patients to Tufts Medical Center. Now, through a partnership with Tufts, patients will be able to receive LVAD implants at BIDMC. The CVI will be offering LVAD therapy both as destination therapy and as a bridge to heart transplantation at Tufts.

"Increasingly, LVADs are seen as end-state or 'destination' therapies for patients with advanced heart failure," says Mark E. Josephson, MD, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine. "This is partly because of the long waiting list for transplant hearts, and also because new technology has made LVADs an accessible alternative that can indefinitely improve the quality of life for many patients."

"LVADS are mechanical pumps that replace the function of the left ventricle," adds Kamal R. Khabbaz, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery. "Our cardiac surgery team is pleased to offer this life-saving option to heart-failure patients."

Cath Lab Kicks Off Same-Day Discharge Initiative

A new initiative is moving the CVI's Cardiac Catheterization Lab toward more outpatient procedures with same-day discharges for some patients who receive coronary stents. Up until now, these patients have all stayed in the hospital either for observation or for inpatient admission.

Reasons for considering same day discharge include the increasing safety of stent procedures, related to improved methods for accessing the heart using smaller equipment, and the declining risk of complications. The concept has been endorsed by new recommendations from the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Intervention, although only about 1 percent of patients in the United States are currently treated as same-day discharges or outpatients. This is likely to change as criteria from Medicare and other payors for which patients require overnight hospitalization become stricter.

"Patient selection is critical to the success of the program," says Donald Cutlip, MD, the CVI's Director of Interventional Cardiology. "Several recent studies have helped us develop selection criteria in which we are confident. At least in the beginning, this will only apply to a small proportion of our patients."

Dr. Papageorgiou Expands EP Services at Lawrence General Hospital

Panos Papageorgiou, MD, has expanded the number of electrophysiology patients he sees at Lawrence General Hospital. He now sees outpatients there as well as inpatients. In November, Dr. Papageorgiou performed the first-ever biventricular defibrillator implant at LGH. His new office hours mean patients can see him for pre- and post-procedure visits right at the hospital. He continues to see cardiology patients at the CVI-Nashoba in Ayer and to perform EP procedures in Boston. Dr. Papageorgiou's appointment number in Lawrence is 978-946-8240.

Above content provided by the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted June 2012

Contact Information

CardioVascular Institute at
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215