February 07, 2011
Menorah Medical Center, an Accredited Chest Pain Center that is patient and family focused, is raising the community’s standard of care when it comes to diagnosing and treating heart disease. The hospital, part of HCA Midwest Health System—the largest provider of heart care in the Kansas City area—is adding a $1.9 million advanced, all-digital 3D cath lab that allows cardiologists to give patients a quicker diagnosis with less exposure and better visualization of the intricate heart vessels, reducing the need for additional procedure time. It will also allow for specialized cardiologists to perform procedures that can eliminate irregularities of the heart with the most advanced procedures available.
A typical catheterization procedure is when a catheter is threaded through a blood vessel in the arm or groin and into the heart. The interventional cardiologist performing the procedure can inject contrast into the arteries or the heart’s chamber to trace blood flow to the heart, measure pressures, and take blood samples. As the physician watches the contrast moving through the blood vessel and chambers, he can see whether the coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked from plaque build-up on the vessels’ lining and decide on the best option for treatment, if needed.
The three-dimensional navigation system used in the new cath lab will also allow for physicians to quickly visualize and treat nearly every type of arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythms. The leading-edge technology is especially useful in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, or AFib, which is the most common form of irregular heart rhythm in the United States.
“Atrial fibrillation affects an estimated 5.6 million people in the U.S. and is increasing due to the rise in the aging baby boomer population,” says Daniel Scharf, MD, director of cardiology at Menorah Medical Center. “The newly expanded cath lab and its advanced 3-dimensional capabilities reinforce Menorah’s commitment to helping patients get fast, effective treatment for their serious heart rhythm problems. Our new technology allows us to see the smallest of vessels in a 3D space so that we can more accurately and efficiently diagnose and treat atherosclerotic diseases, conditions in which the arteries become clogged with the buildup of plaque and can lead to heart attacks, strokes and gangrene if left untreated.”
Dr. Scharf adds that the imaging system helps cardiologists to clearly see the blood vessel and anatomy of the heart, in addition to blood vessels throughout the body. “Our new technology addresses one of the biggest challenges in interventional cardiology today,” says Dr. Scharf.
According to the American Heart Association, atherosclerosis causes hundreds of thousands of heart attacks and strokes each year and accounts for nearly three-fourths of all U.S. deaths from cardiovascular disease. “Menorah Medical center is proud to offer this state-of-the-art cath lab to residents,” says Steven D. Wilkinson, chief executive officer of Menorah. “We have served the community for 80 years and have constantly improved upon our ability to provide top-quality healthcare to all ages. This new cath lab is part of our commitment to giving heart patients the best resources available.”