Thursday, February 2, 2023 ~ Updated 10:48 PM
Steven Joggerst, MD, cardiologist at Cape Cardiology Group, a Saint Francis Medical Partner, performed a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure on Campbell, Missouri, man, John Stenger and two days later, he was able to return home.
Up the catheter went through John Stenger’s leg. It was the tool needed to reach his heart for an aortic valve replacement, and there was no time to waste. The sooner the valve was fixed, the sooner Stenger’s heart could become, as he calls it, “one beat from perfect.”
He had passed out at home in Campbell, Missouri, and reported shortness of breath. Doctors were worried he could potentially have a heart attack, but eventually it was ruled otherwise.
He was sent to Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau and evaluated at the Heart Hospital for treatment.
At 88 years old, Stenger was a high risk for open heart surgery. If they chose that procedure, they would have to cut into the chest, completely stop his heart and cut out the valve.
Steven Joggerst, MD, cardiologist at Cape Cardiology Group, a Saint Francis Medical Partner, instead performed a TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedure, and two days later Stenger was sent back home.
John Stenger and his daughter, Alice Dalton, are thankful that a year and a half after a serious heart issue life is back to normal for the Campbell, Missouri, man, who is approaching his 90th birthday and enjoys cutting wood and gardening.
The procedure consisted of sending a catheter through an artery in his leg and replacing the troublesome valve. It was minimally invasive, allowing for a quick recovery.
Joggerst said his old valve had become stiff, calcified and closed off, which led to its failure.
“His condition was worrying both because of his age and his symptoms,” Joggerst said.
Following Stenger’s arrival back home, he broke both his family’s and doctors’ expectations and was able to return to enjoying the outdoors, according to his daughter Alice Dalton.
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“He’s been doing fine,” Dalton told the Southeast Missourian in November. “I told them when we went up there for the (annual checkup after the surgery), and I told them, ‘Before, he did stuff all the time, but he would have to sit down because he would get short of breath, worn out. Now, since he’s got that done, he goes out and cuts wood. I know he’s thankful to be able to do that kind of stuff. He gets out there and can pretty much do that kind of stuff.”
In 2022, he planted a garden and hoped to replant trees around his farm, located in the Missouri Bootheel.
“I remember he has several daughters who were all in the medical field, so they had excellent questions and understanding of what was going on,” Joggerst said. “I thought they took very good care of him.”
Joggerst is an interventional cardiologist and has worked at the Saint Francis Heart Hospital for eight years. He focuses mainly on treating coronary diseases, but has also begun to work on treating valvular diseases.
He attributes the success of Stenger’s TAVR procedure to the advancement of technology within the last five to 10 years in the healthcare field, noting the TAVR procedure was approved by the FDA in the last 10 years.
When recalling the work he has done in the Saint Francis Heart Hospital with his colleagues, Joggerst noted the doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners have an array of specialized training and are all ready to help patients.
“Their training allows us to collaborate and work together to treat pretty much any disorder or disease of the heart,” Joggerst said.
Joggerst enjoys how his work impacts the local community in a positive way. He said he likes that the Saint Francis Heart Hospital can provide care to individuals in southeast Missouri and reduce the travel patients would have to undergo otherwise.
Care in the Saint Francis Heart Hospital, Joggerst said, ranges from reassurance of patients to treating everyday diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and helping them manage heart disease.
The Saint Francis Heart Hospital provides cardiac electrophysiology, device-based procedures using WATCHMAN or pacemakers, cardiothoracic surgery, and vascular treatment and surgery.
The Heart Hospital also received a Platinum Performance Achievement Award for Chest Pain with the MI Registry in 2022. Joggerst described this award as a showcase that the Heart Hospital has exceeded a list of standards when treating patients with chest pain and possible heart attacks.
He said the award comes from a national registry where patients have the ability to classify the Heart Hospital as having met these specific standards in regards to chest pain and similar heart care.
Every year Stenger will have a follow up appointment at the Heart Hospital to check in on his new valve and allow him to keep farming and breathing easy.
Some reporting came from a story published Nov. 23 in the Southeast Missourian.
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