MD Insider provides a unique inside look into medical conditions and treatments to uncover ground-breaking advances that are truly transforming healthcare. The series features insight from acclaimed cardiologist,
Dean Kereiakes, MD, breaking down exciting innovations and treatments available right here in the Tristate.
In this episode, Dr. Kereiakes and host Clyde Gray are joined by
Greg Egnaczyk, MD, Medical Director of the
Advanced Heart Failure Program and
Robert Dowling, MD, Surgical Director of
the Heart Transplant Program.
Clyde: Hello and welcome to MD Insider. 6.5 million Americans live with heart failure and 1 million more are diagnosed every year. The Christ Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute is recognized for its world-class heart failure program and for leading edge heart failure treatments. With me today is Dr. Dean Kereiakes, President and Medical Director of the Heart & Vascular Institute, Dr. Greg Egnaczyk, Medical Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program and Dr. Robert Dowling, Surgical Director of the Heart Transplant Program. Dr. Kereiakes, tell us how The Christ Hospital is leading the way for heart failure and heart transplant care.
Dr. Kereiakes: Thank you, Clyde. Our nationally recognized heart failure treatment center is the foundation for our new heart transplant program—and we have much more to offer than being just another heart transplant center. We are one of the top heart failure programs in the country for catheter-based, non-surgical treatments and devices, for revolutionary new left ventricular assist devices, or LVAD’s—and even artificial hearts. We never want to tell a patient that we have nothing more to offer them. Here to talk about our innovative heart failure program is Dr. Greg Egnaczyk, the Frank and Margo Homan Endowed Chair for Heart Failure.
Dr. Egnaczyk: Our first goal is to work towards improving the heart function of our patients with heart failure. We offer novel therapies to improve heart function through devices that re-shape enlarged hearts or gene therapy for patients with inherited forms of cardiomyopathy. For many patients with heart failure, a mechanical pump or heart transplant is the only hope for survival. We were the first in the Mid-West to implant as a clinical trial the EVAHEART2 LVAD that creates a natural “pulsatile flow”. This new pump design may reduce bleeding and stroke associated with current continuous flow LVADs. To talk about our transplant and artificial heart program is Dr. Dowling, the Chris and Trey Heekin Family Endowed Chair for Cardiac Transplantation.
Dr. Dowling: Thanks, Greg. We are currently evaluating an investigational, fully implantable, and rechargeable LVAD that eliminates the need for a driveline, or cord, from the patient to a portable battery pack. This device can be recharged remotely, like your iPhone, to greatly enhance a patient’s quality of life. And to serve end-stage heart failure patients, who too often die waiting for a donor heart, we are evaluating several artificial hearts to bridge the gap between patients needing a heart and the limited number of available transplants. Our artificial heart program is supported by the Harold C Schott Foundation.
Experiencing heart failure? Get a second opinion on your care options at The Christ Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute, where heart failure patients have a multitude of lifesaving treatment options. To find out more, please call 513-247-6237, or visit TheChristHospital.com/second-opinion.