Pioneering treatments


TAVR PatientDoctors of Prairie at the Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL have become the first in the United States and the seventh in the world to successfully complete a procedure to implant a medical device, known as a Lotus™ valve, in a patient with an existing artificial heart valve. The patient, Robert Sibrel from Chillicothe, Ill., had been turned down for referral to two large research hospitals in Chicago and St. Louis, and advised to seek hospice care, before Prairie Cardiovascular physicians sought special FDA approval to perform a minimally invasive procedure using the new cardiac device.  

The Lotus™ valve, developed by Boston Scientific, is a transcatheter aortic valve that is inserted into a patient’s existing heart valve using a minimally invasive TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedure, which carries far less risk for patients with advanced-stage heart conditions.  

“When Mr. Sibrel was referred to us he was critically ill and no treatments currently available were considered viable options for his condition,” said Nilesh Goswami, M.D., Co-Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the Prairie Heart Institute. “Although the Lotus™ valve had not yet been used this way in the United States, my colleagues and I were involved in the research surrounding the device and thought it offered the best chance of saving Mr. Sibrel’s life. We presented the situation to the FDA and were able to quickly secure approval to perform the procedure, which successfully treated the condition and gave Mr. Sibrel what we hope will be many more years of life.”  

The Lotus™ valve offers greater precision for physicians by allowing them to adjust placement of the valve and reposition if necessary to ensure the best chance for success. It also causes no fluctuation in blood pressure for patients and begins working as soon as the valve is opened.  

Following the procedure Mr. Sibrel, who had been on bed rest, was able to return to a normal life, including starting a regular exercise routine and enjoying retirement with his wife.  

“Other doctors at larger hospitals told me there was no hope, but the team at the Prairie Heart Institute didn’t give up,” said Mr. Sibrel. “Their teamwork and dedication to treating me was amazing. It is unbelievable to think that a regular guy from the Midwest is the first person in our country to have this procedure. I feel better now than I have in years, and I’m extremely grateful.”  

“Having the opportunity to make a difference in the life of this patient is why I went into medicine,” said Dr. Goswami. “All patients deserve access to top quality medical care. The Doctors of Prairie are proud to be a resource close to home for patients in Illinois and a referral option for those who live throughout the country.”