St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Implants 250th Pulmonary Valve Without Open-Heart Surgery

October 03, 2023
Three clinicians are in a hospital cardiac catherization laboratory and all are wearing surgical gowns, masks and caps. A woman is on the left and a male is on the right and they are handling medical equipment. The third person is in the background and watching what the other two are doing.
Jennifer Carter, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC, and Dr. Jeremy Ringewald, pediatric interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, load a valve onto its delivery catheter as interventional cardiologist Dr. Jay Patel looks on.

 

The Patel Children’s Heart Institute at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital achieved a milestone recently, implanting its 250th congenital transcatheter heart valve.  

“This accomplishment reflects the dedication of our entire congenital cardiac team,” said Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Jeremy Ringewald, who is the director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. “Most importantly, this means that we allowed 250 patients in need of pulmonary or tricuspid valve replacement to avoid open-heart surgery.”

Tampa resident John Pino, 57, was the recipient of the 250th valve. He was born with pulmonary stenosis, a heart defect in which the pulmonary valve is narrowed and opens poorly. Pino underwent open-heart surgery when he was 9 years old to open up the narrowed valve, trading blockage for leakage. Eventually, the leakage led to enlargement of his heart and diminished exercise tolerance. 

“When it was determined that I would need to have my leaky pulmonary valve replaced, I was very happy to discover that Dr. Ringewald could do the repair without the need for another open-heart surgery,” said Pino.

Three clinicians are in a hospital cardiac catherization laboratory and all are wearing surgical gowns, masks and caps. They are standing in front of a surgical table looking at the images on a large monitor.
Jennifer Carter, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC, Dr. Jay Patel, pediatric interventional cardiologist and Dr. Jeremy Ringewald, pediatric interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital..
During the procedure, Dr. Ringewald inserted the valve loaded on its delivery catheter into a vein in Pino's leg and guided the catheter by fluoroscopy to the location of his leaky pulmonary valve. The new valve was deployed inside the old valve and once released, it immediately began functioning.

The team at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital has implanted the most transcatheter pulmonary valves in Florida since the program’s inception and is one of the leading centers in the United States. 

“It’s been a long, challenging and deeply gratifying odyssey for our congenital cardiac team and program. I could not be prouder of our cardiac crew or happier for our patients,” Dr. Ringewald said.

Pino's procedure was a success and instead of spending a week in the hospital, which is typical of most open-heart surgical procedures, he was discharged after just one day.
Three people smile at camera inside a hospital room. A woman is on the left and is wearing green scrubs and a surgical cap. A male hospital patient is in the middle and he is wearing a hospital gown. A male doctor is on the right and is wearing a white long-sleeve dress shirt.
Jennifer Carter, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC; John Pino, recipient of the hospital's 250th valve; and Dr. Jeremy Ringewald, pediatric interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital one day after the procedure.
“I’m so grateful to Dr. Ringewald and the entire heart team for taking such excellent care of me,” said Pino.

The Patel Children’s Heart Institute at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is home to the Tampa Bay area’s only comprehensive congenital heart disease program. Its team of cardiac physicians perform hundreds of procedures each year to treat heart defects in patients of any age. A partnership between St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh provides families across Florida with unprecedented access to the highest level of pediatric heart care available. Together, they provide highly specialized cardiovascular care for patients ranging from babies in the womb to adults with congenital heart disease.

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