Roper St. Francis Adds More Heart & Vascular Minimally-Invasive Procedures to Center

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Imagine being able to leave the hospital hours after an intricate surgery such as a heart valve replacement, and recover in the comfort of your own home. Advanced tools, imagery and expertise at Roper St. Francis Heart & Vascular Center bring a national trend of outpatient surgery to the Lowcountry.

Dr. Jeb Hallett

“For most of these procedures, patients arrive at the hospital in the morning and are usually on their way home that afternoon returning to work within a day or two,” Hallett said.

Imagine being able to leave the hospital hours after an intricate surgery such as a heart valve replacement, and recover in the comfort of your own home. Advanced tools, imagery and expertise at Roper St. Francis Heart & Vascular Center bring a national trend of outpatient surgery to the Lowcountry.

“Over the past five years, we’ve worked to create a program that would provide the most appropriate, quality care for patients using as many outpatient procedures as possible,” said Jeb Hallett, MD, medical director of Roper St. Francis Heart & Vascular Center. The result, he added, is a well-stocked tool box filled with leading-edge innovations, ranging from stem cell transplants to minimally-invasive cardiac procedures. “For most of these procedures, patients arrive at the hospital in the morning and are usually on their way home that afternoon returning to work within a day or two,” Hallett said.

Saving Limbs, Saving Lives
Roper Hospital was the first medical facility in the U.S. to participate in a national trial to treat patients with Critical Limb Ischemia, a severe obstruction of the arteries, blocking blood flow to the extremities resulting in the hardening of blood vessels and possible amputation. This condition is often related to hypertension, smoking and diabetes. The procedure, which takes less than an hour, calls for the removal of bone marrow from patients’ hips. Those cells are then placed in a centrifuge that separates blood cells from pure stem cells, which are then immediately injected back into the patient’s leg. Nine Charleston patients participated in the first phase of the trial.

Roper Hospital has now begun the second phase of this trial and expects to treat a dozen of the 210 prospective patients selected nationally to receive treatment from the 25 participating medical centers.

Small incision, new valve
Roper Cardiac Surgeon Scott Ross, MD, has recently treated his 200th patient using a minimally invasive technique for valve replacement. Rather than making the traditional, lengthy incision down a patient’s left side for entry, the new procedure allows for a small incision on the patient’s left side for entry to the heart. Patients report less pain and a faster recovery.
For more than a decade, Roper St. Francis Healthcare has been a regional leader in new endovascular procedures to reopen arteries and the leading provider of adult cardiovascular services in Charleston. The Heart & Vascular Center provides a multi-disciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases by integrating and coordinating the various medical and technical services involved with the care of a heart and vascular patient. The Center has made it possible for heart and vascular patients to go to a single location for the evaluation, management and treatment of their disease.

The Roper St. Francis Healthcare Mission:
Healing All People with Compassion, Faith and Excellence

Roper St. Francis Healthcare is the South Carolina Lowcountry’s only private, not-for-profit health care system. The 657-bed system consists of 90 facilities and services in seven counties. Member hospitals include Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Mount Pleasant Hospital and Roper Rehabilitation Hospital. Plans to build a hospital in Berkeley County are in progress. Roper St. Francis Physician Partners is a comprehensive network of more than 170 physicians that covers a complete range of primary care and 20 subspecialties.

With more than 5,000 employees, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is Charleston’s largest non-governmental, private employer. Its medical staff includes nearly 800 physicians representing every medical specialty. Ranked #46 among the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks in the nation, Roper St. Francis Healthcare recently earned 96 National Awards recognizing high levels of patient, physician and employee satisfaction. In October 2010, Roper St. Francis was named among Modern Healthcare’s prestigious list of “Top 100 Places to Work.” Roper St. Francis Healthcare was additionally listed among the Top 25 Connected Healthcare Systems in 2010. In 2009, the organization contributed more than 58,015 hours of staff time and $29.6 million to benefit the community, serving nearly 175,000 community residents.

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