In the event of a heart attack or coronary blockage, saving time means saving lives. St. Mary’s provides faster cardiac care when our patients need it most, including direct routing to our state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) for emergency interventional treatment of a heart attack.
St. Mary’s Interventional Cardiology services can open blocked arteries through minimally-invasive angioplasty procedures in a matter of minutes. In addition to femoral and transradial angioplasties, St. Mary’s also provides repair of congenital heart defects and treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) through interventional procedures.
Interventional cardiology versus bypass surgery
Interventional cardiology provides similar results to bypass surgery, but with several significant differences. Instead of spending five to six days in the hospital after surgery, interventional cardiology allows most patients to return home the very next day. Patients can return to full activity in less than a week, unlike the 30 to 60 days that bypass requires. And instead of having a traditional scar from opening the entire chest, this procedure can be performed through just a needle stick.
Balloon Angioplasty and stent implantation is the “gold standard” for emergency heart attack care and is appropriate for the vast majority of people experiencing myocardial infarction — a heart attack.
Interventional procedures are provided at St. Mary’s Hospital in the state-of-the-art Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab).
More people are surviving heart attacks and seeing a decrease in heart muscle damage thanks to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospitals working together across Northeast Georgia.
St. Mary’s recognizes the importance of “door-to-device” time, or the crucial minutes from the time you enter the Emergency Department until you are treated in the Cath Lab to reopen a clogged coronary artery. These moments play the most important role in saving lives and decreasing heart muscle damage.
St. Mary’s is teaming up with EMS providers to ensure each crucial moment is measured and time is saved from the moment you first present symptoms of a heart attack until you are treated in the Cath Lab at the hospital. EMS providers send EKG results from the field to St. Mary’s. The cardiologist and cath team are notified at that time to meet the patient and begin treatment as soon as they arrive any time of the day or night. Everyone from hospital staff to paramedics, physicians, Emergency Department nurses and Cath Lab technicians have a role to play in saving time and saving lives.
Read about how St. Mary’s helped Jerry Woodie survive a “widow-maker”.
St. Mary’s maintains a door-to-device time below the American College of Cardiology 90 minute recommendation. Staff continually monitors success in achieving this goal on a daily basis.
An intervention generally refers to a non-surgical treatment used to open a blocked coronary artery to increase blood flow to the heart.
A coronary intervention can be performed by inserting catheter, a narrow, hollow tube, into a blood vessel in your leg (femoral procedure) or arm (transradial procedure). The traditional approach has been to use the femoral artery to access the heart, but in certain instances the transradial approach provides less risk for complications and more efficient access. Your doctor will discuss which option is best for you.
If your Peripheral Arterial Disease is not being adequately controlled with treatment and lifestyle change, you may experience relief with a balloon angioplasty procedure. During this procedure a balloon is inflated inside the blocked blood vessel to compress plaque and open the artery to increased blood flow.
It depends on the findings of the procedure and how much disease/blockage there is in the heart. Several things could happen. The physician may let you go home and ask that you follow up with an office visit. There may be further intervention required by the cardiologist, which would require you to stay overnight, or you may have a consult with a cardiac surgeon for a surgical procedure. Ask your physician about your unique procedure and needs.
Families are informed of the results immediately after the procedure and the physician will speak with you directly while you are in the recovery area or in your room following recovery. Families will be able to see you within the hour after they talk with the surgeon.
It depends on the level of intervention. If you undergo a catheter procedure, you may see the cardiologist once or twice after discharge and then schedule office visits annually provided there are no other complications. Additional follow-up may be necessary depending on your individual condition. As your cardiologist for details.
To learn more about interventional cardiology, angioplasty and stents, visit these credible websites: