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UMC Heart Center performs region’s first LVAD surgery

Aug 26, 2016, 08:50 AM

Cardiologists at the UMC Heart Center recently performed the first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) surgery in our region, which greatly improves access to life-saving cardiac care in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

Kenneth Romero, 53, of Idalou, underwent the surgical procedure in mid-July at UMC. After nearly three weeks in the hospital – an expected length of stay for this procedure – Mr. Romero is ready to return home.

“Before this procedure, Mr. Romero was experiencing heart failure,” said Dr. Nandini Nair, director of Advanced Heart Failure, Transplant and ECMO Services at UMC. “But now that the device has been implanted, he should experience a much better quality of life.”

A VAD is a mechanical pump that is used to support heart function and blood flow in people who have weakened hearts. The device takes blood from a lower chamber of the heart and helps pump it to the body and vital organs. Procedures on the left side of the heart, referred to as LVAD, are the most common.

The surgery was performed by Drs. Benjamin Hirsch and Ralph Paone of Texas Tech Physicians. The two surgeons, along with Dr. Nair, will be among physicians attending a news conference tomorrow with Mr. Romero and his wife.

Who: UMC Heart Center and Texas Tech Physicians
What: News conference on region’s first LVAD procedure
When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday
Where: UMC McInturff Conference Center

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