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2021 Heart & Vascular Annual Report

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Structural heart

St. Vincent in Billings, Montana has become a regional referral center for patients with a variety of structural heart diseases. The program specializes in minimally invasive interventions for patients who cannot tolerate traditional surgery.1

Structural heart

Structural & heart valve disorders

There are a variety of structural and heart valve disorders that heart and vascular program treats and manages2. Common disorders range from heart defects, such as holes in the walls of the heart, to valve diseases, where blood flow is disrupted due to leaky or stiff valves.

Many of these issues may present as a heart murmur, or whooshing sound in the heart, or can have more serious symptoms including fatigue or shortness of breath.

Structural heart

MitraClip for mitral valve disease

The MitraClip Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVr) procedure is a minimally invasive catheter-based therapy for patients with primary or secondary mitral regurgitation. While open-heart surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve is generally recommended, it may not be an option for many patients who are at high surgical risk or have secondary heart failure.

The structural heart program at St. Vincent has been performing MitraClip for several years and completed its MitraClip 100th procedure in 2021, making it one of the most experienced programs in the region. MitraClip has shown to be extremely safe, reduced or eliminated mitral regurgitation symptoms, and resulted in shorter hospital lengths of stay and reduced hospitalizations for patients with concurrent heart failure.

Convergent procedure for Afib

TAVR for aortic valve disease

Since 2012, the Heart and Vascular Institute at Saint Joseph Hospital has developed one of the highest volume Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) programs in the Rocky Mountain region. TAVR is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart valve surgery for patients with aortic valve stenosis. Once reserved only for patients at elevated risk for traditional valve surgery, today, TAVR eligibility is more inclusive of severe, symptomatic calcific aortic stenosis patients, independent of surgical risk.

Convergent procedure for Afib

Open surgery interventions for structural heart disease

While new, minimally invasive techniques have been developed to treat a variety of structural heart disease, especially for patients at medium to high risk for open-heart surgery, conventional methods still remains a common and proven way to cure or reserve structural heart issues.

The heart and vascular program at St. Vincent offers surgical treatments for structural heart diseases, including:

Convergent procedure for Afib


Cardiothoracic & vascular surgery

2021 Heart & Vascular Annual Report for SCL Health, now Intermountain Healthcare.

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