Pictured: Michael Faulkner, MD, Nicholas Lopez, MD, Martin Rains, MD, and Austin Ward, MD
In a press release on Monday, October 19, Baptist Health Paducah called a team of physicians 'a new generation of heart doctors'.
Last year, three Paducah doctors performed the first TAVR (Transcatheter aortic valve replacement) procedure in the area. Structural interventional cardiologists Martin Rains, MD and Micheal Faulkner MD, along with cardiothoracic surgeon Nicholas Lopez, MD carried out the successful surgery on a Ballard County man in his 80's on October 22, 2019.
Before Baptist Health started the TAVR program, patients would travel long distances to have this type of procedure. It's a milestone achievement and a big step for the patients in the region.
The innovative procedure for cardiac patients offers a minimally-invasive approach to the traditional open-heart surgery. The new generation of physicians are continuing the hospital's rich heritage as a leader in cardiovascular services. Baptist Health Paducah was the first in our area to offer open-heart surgery as well as several other 'firsts' in cardiac care.
In addition to the Dr. Martin, Dr. Faulkner, and Dr. Lopez, the team has added cardiovascular surgeon Austin Ward, M.D. In September, Dr. Ward performed the regions first TAVR procedure through the carotid artery.
Dr. Ward is native of Paducah, Kentucky and is very excited to be back in his hometown practicing medicine. “I feel like I hit the jackpot with the chance to come back to my hometown and do what I love every day,” Dr. Ward said. “I love that every patient presents a new challenge or problem to solve. This is where I have the opportunity to use my hands to influence physiology and outcomes every day. It is an honor and privilege to be trusted with the cardiothoracic surgical care of patients and I am thankful for the opportunity to provide world-class care without patients having to travel out of our community.”