Leading the way with advanced cardio technology

The Heart and Vascular Center at Manatee Memorial Hospital invests in advanced cardiovascular technologies.

Did you know?

Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida was one of the first hospitals in southwest Florida to introduce minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedures to the area.

Technology is an important ally to improving patient care. The Heart and Vascular Center team has been at the forefront of offering advanced cardiac services that give new hope to heart patients with serious cardiac conditions.

A surgical option for atrial fibrillation — Watchman™

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) starts as an irregular and rapid heart rhythm in the upper chambers of the heart. The rhythm change may begin slowly but becomes stronger and more constant as time goes on. This can produce blood clots and increase the risk of stroke.

Blood thinners like Warfarin® or Coumadin® can help avoid clots. Unfortunately, some patients can’t tolerate such medication. In these cases, the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure device may be an alternative.

Michael McintyreWatchman, which looks like a pouch, is designed to work as a safety net by closing off the left atrial appendage and catching harmful blood clots before they enter the bloodstream. The implant is eventually absorbed by the body and works as a permanent implant. The procedure frees many patients from the reliance on blood thinners.

Local resident Michael McIntyre was a model candidate for the Watchman device. Michael has AFib, which required him to be on prescription blood thinners, but they also caused complications for him with his bladder cancer treatment. “I also have bladder cancer, and many of the procedures I have for that cause a lot of bleeding. I was more scared taking blood thinners than I was of having a stroke by not taking them.”

Regarding his experience, Michael says he feels great and couldn’t even tell he had a procedure done.

I am feeling so much better that I am finally off blood thinners!

Michael McIntyre

An aortic stenosis option — TAVR

Aortic stenosis is a heart condition caused by a calcifying aortic valve. The value tightens and prevents blood from moving around the body and makes the heart work harder. The added stress can weaken the heart and, eventually, lead to failure.

Historically for these patients, doctors considered open-heart surgery as the only option. However, that’s not an option for some patients. For instance, some patients over the age of 80 years old who develop this condition are unable to undergo open heart surgery because they are too sick and too frail.

Eugene VaadiNow, thanks to TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement), patients may be eligible for a noninvasive procedure. The procedure uses a catheter to reach the artery, without open-heart surgery, to replace an old valve with a new valve.

Retired WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veteran Eugene Vaadi, 95, was used to staying physically fit. He lifted weights, walked on the treadmill and rode the bike at his gym. When he started having shortness of breath and fatigue, he became concerned and saw his cardiologist, who discovered Eugene had severe aortic stenosis. Cardiologists determined he was not eligible for open-heart surgery, but was a candidate for the TAVR device.

Eugene's surgery took just one hour and he was discharged from the hospital after two days and back to enjoying life soon after.

I am so grateful for this wonderful technology!

Eugene Vaadi

A leaking heart valve option — MitraClip

Severe mitral regurgitation occurs when the mitral valve in the heart does not completely close, causing blood to leak. Open-heart surgery is the standard of care for patients with MR, but some patients' heart valves may be too degenerated for open-heart surgery to be a safe option. In those cases, MitraClip® may be an option.

The MitraClip is inserted through a catheter and maneuvered into the mitral valve through micro-movements. Right after the clip is inserted, cardiologists can see the patient's atrial pressure drop in half and the leaking stop. Results are instantaneous.

Carl Glass

In January 2016, Carl Glass, 70, started to feel weak, had no energy and would fall asleep right after breakfast and sleep until noon. Having a history of heart issues and previous heart surgery, he saw his cardiologist. Determined to be too high-risk for open-heart surgery, Carl was recommended to have the Mitraclip procedure. The procedure typically takes 30-45 minutes and patients typically come in the day prior and leave the day after.

After the procedure, Carl says he feels like a brand new man. Before the MitraClip, he couldn’t ride his bike, but now, he rides about four miles a day.