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Amazing imaging of the heart

Jan 31, 2019, 00:00 AM
New cardiac catheterization equipment brings latest technology

10_Artis Zee floor with PURE for Skagit Valley HospitalWhen Interventional Cardiologist Sanjeev Vaderah, MD performs a procedure to diagnose and treat a heart problem, he wants to have clear, focused images of the arteries and veins. Those images are key to his ability to identify a blockage or narrowing of an artery and take the next step to fix the problem.

State-of-the-art new equipment, a Siemens model Artis Zee, was added to the cardiac catheterization lab at Skagit Valley Hospital in the fall of 2018, bringing the latest in cardiac imaging for heart patients.

“The technology for imaging has improved a great deal,” said Dr. Vaderah. “Good imaging allows us the ability to see better and work with greater precision.”

Dr. Vaderah is joined by Kamol Lohavanichbutr, MD and Elizabeth Gauer, MD as interventional cardiologists who work in the cath labs to open patients’ clogged arteries. The labs are also used by interventional radiologists and electrophysiologist Ramy Hanna, MD, who focuses on electrical issues of the heart and implants pacemakers.

Skagit Valley Hospital has four cardiac catheterization labs and serves as a referral center for stable and emergent heart patients in Skagit, Island and north Snohomish counties. Approximately 800 patients per year are seen in the cath labs.

“As an interventional cardiologist, this new technology will allow me to better visualize a blockage so I can diagnose and remedy the problem and provide excellent care to our patients,” said Kamol Lohavanichbutr, MD. “Skagit Valley Hospital is the only facility in the area equipped with cardiac cath labs and we continue to advance care for heart patients in the region.”

In addition to improved images, the new equipment requires less radiation for the patient and allows the providers to perform more technical procedures.

“Our case complexity continues to go up and we are tackling cases here that we previously sent elsewhere because we have the latest equipment and our providers are highly skilled,” Dr. Vaderah said.

Cardiac catheterization is used for a variety of procedures including angioplasty, when a tiny balloon is inserted at the site of a blockage, or an angioplasty with a stent, which involves the insertion of a small metal coil into the artery to keep it open. Skagit Valley Hospital has a very strong program with a “door to balloon” time in the Emergency Department of 70 minutes, well below the national target of 90 minutes, Dr. Vaderah said.



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