Dr. Rains talks TAVR procedure

KELLY FARRELL | The Sun

Dr. Martin Rains, interventional/structural cardiologist for Baptist Health Medical Group, addressed Paducah Rotarians on Wednesday at the Carson Center's Myre River Room. He mainly focused on the TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) procedure, which was first performed at Baptist Health Paducah in October 2019. It's used to treat aortic stenosis.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is not just a medical procedure in Dr. Martin Rains' eyes.

It's also a statement.

"This is a statement both to the people of our community and our region, but really throughout the state that, medically, Paducah is on the forefront," he said. " ... We're offering advanced-level care that competes with the big cities and, traditionally, our patients, our family, our friends have had to go to (the cities) to see that."

Rains, who attended Paducah Tilghman High School, served as this week's Rotary Club of Paducah speaker at its Wednesday meeting in the Carson Center's Myre River Room. He's an interventional/structural cardiologist for Baptist Health Paducah and detailed some of the "nuts and bolts" of TAVR for Paducah Rotarians, before taking some questions.

TAVR, he explained, is a potential alternative to open-heart surgery for patients that was implemented locally by Baptist Health Paducah in 2019. It tackles the valve disease of aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve. The disease can restrict blood flow.

Aortic stenosis happens most commonly due to aging, according to Rains.

"It's really nothing that anyone does to themselves like many other heart conditions," he said. "This is honestly just something that happens because your heart is beating how many billions of times throughout your life."

TAVR involves inserting a catheter, which is guided to the heart and delivers the valve replacement. It offers a shorter recovery time due to its less-invasive nature. Rains estimated the average procedure time is 60-90 minutes.

"You're looking at a one- or two-day stay in the hospital, as opposed to traditional open-heart surgery -- (which) is probably five, six, seven days bare minimum," he said.

The procedure was first performed at Baptist Health Paducah on Oct. 22, 2019, and seven patients were successfully treated before the end of the year.

However, Rains noted patients are evaluated to decide which option is better for them, as each person is different. Medical staff also look at other factors, such as comorbidities or medical problems.

"I think most people in our field would argue that aside from the first open-heart surgery done here in the mid '80s, this is the single biggest advance in health care for this region since then, because it opens up a whole new breadth of options," he said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.