Expanded Cath Lab Service Offerings Allow Hospital to Better Serve the Community
HOUSTON – St. Luke’s Health – This week, The Vintage Hospital is opening a second cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab), furthering the high-quality cardiovascular services available at the hospital. Cath labs are special rooms in the hospital for testing and treating patients with cardiovascular diseases and disorders. A cath lab has special imaging equipment used to see the arteries and check how well blood is flowing to and from the heart. This information helps the care team to diagnose and treat blockages and other problems in the arteries.
“We’re thrilled to open our second cath lab and expand the number of patients we can serve in the community. Significant planning went into this project, including garnering the input of the current cath lab physicians and staff on what was needed to better care for our patients,” said Mario Garner, president, St. Luke’s Health – The Vintage. “This addition solidifies our position as one of the top cardiac care hospitals in the area and we look forward to continuing to provide compassionate, high-quality cardiovascular care close to home.”
The second cath lab includes state-of-the-art tools and technology to care for cardiac patients and allow cardiologists to see more accurate and flexible imaging. The additional room increases efficiency for the hospital to schedule cases, accommodate emergency procedures and may help improve its door-to-balloon (DTB) time, which is the time elapsed from the arrival of a patient in the Emergency Department to the restoration of blood flow via angioplasty. The Vintage’s average DTB is already less than 60 minutes, which is a common goal for hospitals across the country.
Interventional Cardiologist Maged Amine, MD, FACC, Assistant Professor of Interventional Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine, has practiced at The Vintage since 2011 and is proud of the new addition.
“The Vintage Hospital has excellent cardiologists, nurses, and technicians, advanced equipment, and the ability to treat all major cardiovascular diseases,” Dr. Amine said. “Building a second cardiac cath lab reflects and furthers the growth of cardiovascular services, and it speaks to the trust patients and
their physicians place in our hospital.”
The advanced technology and equipment in the new cath lab will allow us to perform several types of procedures, including:
- Diagnostic cardiac catheterization — During this procedure, an interventional cardiologist inserts a catheter through a puncture in the groin or wrist and threads the tube through an artery to the heart while watching its progress on a monitor. Once the catheter reaches its destination, the physician may use instruments attached to its tip to view the inside of blood vessels, measure blood pressure in the heart and surrounding vessels, and more. Contrast dye is sent through the catheter into the arteries of the heart and is visible in X-rays, which helps the physician identify blockages.
- Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) — Also known as angioplasty, PCI treats symptoms of coronary artery disease, such as chest pain caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart, on an elective basis and heart attack on an emergency basis. When a balloon-tipped catheter reaches the heart, the interventional cardiologist inflates it, which pushes plaque in the vessel against the wall and restores blood flow. Often, the physician places a metal or fabric mesh tube called a stent to help prevent the formation of another blockage.
- Treat arrhythmia — These include implantations of pacemakers — devices to restore normal heart rhythm if the heart beats too fast or slow, or irregularly — and defibrillators, which are devices that can deliver an electric shock to the heart to put it back into normal rhythm if a dangerous arrhythmia is detected.
- Treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) — As with arteries in the heart, arteries in the legs and other parts of the body can narrow and become blocked as plaque accumulates — a condition called PAD. Interventional cardiologists can perform several procedures to treat PAD, including angioplasty