Cardiology

Dr. Jose Teixeira – a cardiologist with Regional Health Heart and Vascular Institute discusses the Watchman device.  This is a new procedure in the Black Hills. The Watchman is an alternative for patients with AFib (not caused by heart valve problem) keeping patients off lifelong use of blood thinners. The implant reduces the risk of stroke and can eliminate regular blood tests as well as food/drink restrictions that come with taking blood thinners. 

Medtronic

Cardiologists in Rapid City are using a new pacemaker that is fully implanted inside a person’s heart. The FDA only recently approved the technology. Doctor Kelly Airey with Rapid City Regional Hospital performed the first procedure to place the pacemaker.  Her patient is impressed.

Paul Baldwin has had two traditional pacemakers to normalize and regulate his heartbeat. When his latest device’s battery was up for replacement, he talked with Dr. Kelly Airey about his options. Baldwin says she recommended a tiny pacemaker that’s self-contained within his heart.

Patients in Sioux Falls in need of a heart valve replacement may no longer face mandatory open heart surgery.    Sanford Health in North and South Dakota has been approved as one of a hundred other sites around the country in performing a new non-invasive heart valve replacement procedure.  On today’s Dakota Digest SDPB’s Cara Hetland has the story of how the surgery is different but necessary for the sickest of patients.

Marjorie Walberg was told in February she would need her aortic valve replaced.  For her it was bound to happen sometime.