Heart care team celebrates 200 TAVR procedures in Pensacola

William Phillips became so accustomed to living with a heart murmur that he said he developed a symbiotic relationship with his heart condition

“It tolerated me and I tolerated it,” he joked. When he was notified that he was on the kidney transplant list, he knew he had to take his heart condition seriously because it could prevent him from receiving a kidney transplant.

Last October, Phillips, 80, underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola to correct the narrowed heart valve that was causing the murmur. During the minimally invasive procedure, an interventional cardiologist guided a small catheter through a small incision in the artery in the groin. Then a cardiovascular surgeon inserted a new valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Once the valve was in place, it immediately restored full blood flow from the heart. 

Phillips was the 200th patient to undergo the procedure at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola. Successful procedure outcomes require an experienced medical and support team working at a comprehensive medical center that has the ability to manage risk and complications. 

One day after his surgery, Phillips was discharged from the hospital. Right away he noticed that he no longer had shortness of breath. He also regained his “sprightly walk” instead of shuffling his feet. Phillips said the talents of cardiac surgeon Charles Wyatt, MD, interventional cardiologist Mark Grise, MD, and the entire cardiac team made the procedure “a walk in the park.”

As a retired company president, Phillips said he can spot talent. “The people who work at Ascension Sacred Heart set it apart,” said Phillips, who has received care at the hospital for the past 15 years. “No matter what facility you visit, they make the difference. They are true professionals.”

For more information on TAVR, call 850-416-8287 or visit https://healthcare.ascension.org/Specialty-Care/Cardiology/Why-Ascension/Pensacola-FL-Structural-Heart-and-Valve-Care