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Mitral Valve Replacement

Tina receives heart care close to home.

Dr. Missler uses the model of the human heart to explain Tina’s procedure
Dr. Missler uses the model of the human heart to explain Tina’s procedure.

When Tina needed a new mitral valve, she benefited from BJC HealthCare’s collaborative approach to care that connected her with a multidisciplinary team of heart specialists. Her journey included seamless coordination between medical teams at two BJC HealthCare facilities: Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Missouri Baptist Medical Center (MoBap).

As part of her annual heart care, Tina sees BJC Medical Group physician Michael Missler, MD, a cardiologist on staff at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.

During her yearly heart checkup in January, Dr. Missler used a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) to evaluate Tina’s heart and mitral valve. “The TEE results showed that her mitral valve was leaking, inhibiting blood flow to the left ventricle,” he says. “The valve couldn’t be repaired and needed to be replaced.”

Dr. Missler referred Tina to James Scharff, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon on staff at MoBap, for consultation and mitral valve replacement

Besides having an office on the MoBap campus, Dr. Scharff has a clinic at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital to bring complex cardiac surgical care closer to home for St. Charles County residents

“When patients come to BJC, they have access to the region’s top specialists. Our team approach combines patient-centered care and state-of-art technology where our patients call home.” Dr. Missler and Dr. Scharff

Before Tina’s valve replacement surgery was scheduled, she had a diagnostic cardiac catheterization at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital. This procedure would give Dr. Missler more information about the heart’s blood vessels and help Dr. Scharff determine the best type of surgery: open heart or smaller incision.

After the procedure, Dr. Missler told Barbara and Tina that there were no blockages in the heart’s arteries. Dr. Scharff determined that the valve replacement could be done through a small incision under Tina’s arm without cutting through bone.

When choosing where to have the surgery, Dr. Scharff talked to Barbara and Tina. Because mitral valve surgeries aren’t performed at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, he recommended MoBap. “MoBap is close by and has dedicated operating rooms and surgical teams specializing in heart and vascular care.”

Barbara agreed with Dr. Scharff but was nervous about going to a new hospital. “We trusted Dr. Missler, had confidence in Dr. Scharff and know that the BJC HealthCare system provides great care.”

On April 4, Tina was admitted to MoBap. As she prepared for Tina’s surgery, Barbara was impressed with how easy it was to move between hospitals within the BJC HealthCare system. “It was seamless,” Barbara says. “Everyone knew Tina’s details, and there was constant communication

During the surgical procedure, Dr. Scharff replaced Tina’s mitral valve with an artificial pig valve. After the operation, Tina recovered at MoBap for four days before being discharged home. Barbara was by Tina’s side during her recovery. “The nursing staff was wonderful and welcomed my involvement.” Four weeks after surgery, Tina saw Dr. Scharff for follow up. “Her surgery was successful, and the valve has restored normal heart function,” Dr. Scharff says.

With the surgery behind her, Tina will continue her annual heart care with Dr. Missler. As Barbara and Tina reflect on the experience, Barbara says, “We were always part of the decision-making process. It was such a positive experience.”

Discover more: Call 314-996-5433 or visit missouribaptist.org/heart.

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