10 Years of Progress in the Treatment of Heart Conditions

February 26, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Kan.— To coincide with the 10th anniversary of Girls' Night In, an event that raises awareness of women's heart disease and prevention, several cardiologists at The University of Kansas Hospital reflect on some of the biggest changes in heart care in the last 10 years. 

Dr. Ashley Simmons says there’s been an increased awareness among women that heart disease is the number one killer of women. “I think women are being more aggressive at getting screening, and paying more attention to their symptoms, which is a good thing,” said Simmons. She also says imaging and diagnostic tools are making it much easier to diagnose and prevent heart problems.

Dr. Rhea Pimentel is an electrophysiologist who says some of the biggest changes in her area involve implantable devices that make it easier to monitor and control a variety of heart conditions. “One of those devices that’s making a huge difference is an implantable loop recorder, which can be inserted into a patient right in the doctor’s office rather than an operating room,” says Pimentel. “It can watch a patient’s heart for up to three years and wirelessly update the doctor without the patient having to do anything.”

Dr. Mark Wiley, an interventional cardiologist, says one of the most “transformative things in cardiology” in the last decade is the development of the transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Simply stated, it’s a new way to replace the heart’s aortic valve in a minimally invasive fashion. “We now have the technology which allows us to access the patient’s heart through a vein in the leg rather than making a large incision and cracking the chest. Oftentimes we have patients up and walking the same day, rather than days later, and hospital stays are cut about in half.” 

All three doctors expand on their look at 10 years of progress in treating hearts in the video below.

Video interviews with Dr. Ashley Simmons, cardiologist, Dr. Rhea Pimentel, electrophysiologist and Dr. Mark Wiley, interventional cardiologist, all with The University of Kansas Hospital.


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