Baptist Health Heart Institute Valve Clinic Opens With Specialized Treatment Of Aortic Stenosis

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health has launched its latest clinic – the Baptist Health Heart Institute Valve Clinic – specifically designed for the evaluation and treatment of symptomatic aortic stenosis.

Aortic Stenosis is the narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart. The narrowing restricts blood flow through the valve causing the heart to contract harder to pump blood into the aorta. Basically, the more narrowed the valve, the less blood that can get through, the more severe the problem is likely to be. Until now, the standard of care for this condition has been open-heart surgery to replace the valve.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) offers an alternative to open heart surgery for selected patients with symptomatic aortic valve stenosis. Through the minimally invasive procedure TAVR, a new valve is implanted without removing the old, damaged one. Somewhat similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR approach delivers a fully functional replacement valve to the site through a catheter. Once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow. A patient’s experience is comparable to a balloon treatment or an angiogram in terms of down time and recovery and will require a shorter hospital stay.

A multi-disciplinary heart team at the valve clinic determines the most appropriate and safest therapeutic approach for the patient through collaboration among cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. The Baptist Health Heart Institute Valve Clinic is led by Dr. Ernesto Ruiz-Rodriguez, the state’s first fellowship-trained structural heart physician, and Dr. Jimmy Day, a cardiothoracic surgeon. The comprehensive team also includes Dr. Gary Collins, interventional cardiologist, Drs. Bo Busby and Derlis Martino, cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr. Joe Hackler, invasive cardiologist, and Dr. Brian Jansen, anesthesiologist.

The valve clinic program is fully integrated and coordinated by Heather Hall, RN, with support from advanced imaging, respiratory care, surgery, cardiac cathlab and nursing staff. Located in the Hickingbotham Outpatient Center at 9500 Kanis Road, in Little Rock, the clinic can be reached by calling 501-202-1521.

Baptist Health is the state’s most comprehensive healthcare system. With more than 175 points of access, including eight hospitals, Baptist Health is committed to delivering “All Our Best” in healthcare to Arkansans. For more information about Baptist Health Heart Institute Valve Clinic, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.