Holston Valley stent procedure shown live at major cardiology conference

Hank Hayes • Sep 28, 2019 at 11:30 AM

KINGSPORT — Cardiologist Dr. Chris Metzger performed a live stent procedure on a 51-year-old woman Friday with 12,000 to 13,000 of his colleagues watching.

Metzger and his team inside Holston Valley Medical Center’s cardiac catheterization lab did the procedure as training for an audience of physicians participating in the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference, the nation’s largest interventional cardiology meeting featuring major medical research breakthroughs and the latest treatments for heart disease.

"What they do for these meetings is invite a few centers of excellence to do the cases live for learning purposes," Metzger noted. "This was the case of an aorta with heavy calcium and severe blockage. We fixed that live. There were about 10 experts moderating the case with live interaction.

"With complicated procedures, you want to do the procedure safely, correctly and how to think through the procedure and how to change your plan as needed on the fly."

According to Ballad Health, less than three endovascular sites are selected each year to perform live cases for TCT. This is the third year Holston Valley has been invited to participate. After Friday’s cases were completed for TCT, Metzger had performed more than 100 live cases for audiences all over the world.

"It is an honor to be selected (to do the live cases)," Metzger said. "We love what we do. We like to teach folks."

Dr. Herb Ladley, a cardiologist and chief medical officer for Ballad Health's Northwest Market, called the TCT conference the largest international meeting of interventional cardiologists and interventional vascular specialists.

"Dr. Metzger in a disciplined way takes on some very challenging cases," Ladley pointed out. "This case (involving the 51-year-old woman) is pretty indicative of that. It was a beautiful result. The patient had symptoms of aching in the legs and so little blood flow, they were becoming jeopardized. The beauty of these video presentations is they can be saved and reviewed over and over."

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