Joplin surgeons celebrate milestone

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin surgeons celebrate a milestone using advanced heart surgery.

Freeman Health System has reached 200 cases where doctors have used the procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement. It replaces a valve in the aorta through a vein in the upper leg. That eliminates the need for a heart-lung machine as well as shrinking the time a patient must recuperate in the hospital.

Dr. John Cox, Freeman Cardiologist, said, “Quicker and easier and we have for instance used less sedation for the patient. We’re capable to doing more of it through local anesthetic and light sedative.”

Paula Baker, Freeman Pres. & CEO, said, “It’s very unusual to have this kind of cutting edge procedure in a hospital such as Freeman Health System in this region. And typically you will see it in larger university settings.”

Freeman was the first hospital in the region to offer the procedure nearly four years ago and is the only one in the area to hit the 200 mark.

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