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Technology in Cardiac Care

MVHS employs the latest developments in cardiac diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. We are always expanding our knowledge, facilities and equipment for maximum leverage of our resources, to provide world-class cardiac care and improve patient outcomes. Learn about some of the primary technologies used in each treatment area, or explore manufacturers’ sites for more information.

In early 2016, the Cardiac Services team at MVHS performed the first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure in the Mohawk Valley. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure for people who have been diagnosed with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis and who may be too ill or too high-risk for open heart surgery. This groundbreaking procedure opens up treatment options to patients who would not previously been candidates for open heart surgery. In many cases the TAVR procedure allows significantly reduced recovery times and a shorter hospital stay than traditional open heart procedures. The organization has invested nearly $3 million in the program including a specialized hybrid operating room, specialized equipment and the training of staff. The procedure involves a team of specialized physicians including cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and anesthesiologists.

Surgery

Bypass surgery requires sophisticated equipment, some of which is specialized for cardiac use.

To allow the cardiovascular surgeon to perform surgery, the heart may have to be supported artificially, using a “bypass pump” or heart-lung machine. MVHS currently uses the new Medtronic® Performer™ CPB.

When a patient needs to have a heart valve replaced, most often our surgeons use Edwards® Lifesciences Pericardial heart valves. Surgeons at MVHS perform TAVR surgery using Edwards® Transcatheter valves.

For atrial fibrillation ablation (burning bad electrical currents), MVHS employs Atricure® products for stand-alone (minimally invasive) procedures and those performed during bypass or valve surgery.

Electrophysiology

The Electrophysiology Lab requires x-ray systems for imaging and positioning catheters. For very high resolution images with minimal patient exposure, we use the same Allura cardio/vascular imaging system from Philips® that is used in our cath labs.

We monitor the electrical currents of the heart using BARD® Monitoring systems. During an electrophysiology study the cardiologist may also want to provide an electrical stimulus to the heart, accomplished with the Bard Micropace system.

An electrophysiologist may treat a bad electrical current using an ablation catheter from Bard®Boston Scientific®, or Biosense Webster® (a Johnson & Johnson company).

To be able to diagnose and treat complex arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, the electrophysiologist may use CARTO 3D Mapping technology, also from Biosense Webster.

Implantable Devices

Electrophysiologists may implant ICDs (implantable cardioverter defibrillators) that will stimulate a patient’s heart back to normal rhythm during a commonly deadly sudden cardiac arrest. MVHS uses ICDs from Medtronic. They may also implant a Medtronic pacemaker to control a slow or irregular beating heart.

Infection Prevention

We use modern technology to our patients’ benefit well beyond the procedure rooms, employing the latest products to protect patients from infection. We employ products from Sage®, and Smith & Nephew® for infection control. 

Inventory Management

The supplies and devices used to treat MVHS patients are invaluable in saving the lives of our patients, so proper handling and management are crucial to our operations. MVHS uses the WaveMark® Hospital Inventory Management system, with cutting-edge radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, to manage this inventory. St. Elizabeth Medical Center was the first hospital to use the WaveMark system in 2005 and it has been in use ever since.

Cardiac Catheterization

During cardiac catheterization, moving images are created with an x-ray technique called fluoroscopy. Cardiologists study and diagnose problems with blood flow, and the images are used to position devices to treat heart disease. MVHS uses Philips’ new Digital Flat Detector Fluoroscopy, among the most advanced in medicine today.

The patient’s vital signs and other crucial information during a procedure are relayed to the physician by Camtronics’ hemodynamic monitoring equipment from Emageon.

After a heart attack, a balloon pump can be used to assist a patient’s weak heart, providing crucial additional time for life saving procedures. All MVHS balloon pumps are CS100’s from Datascope®.

Stents are the tiny metal scaffolds used to hold open vessels that have been expanded or re-opened. At MVHS we use “drug-eluting” stents (they release medicine into the patient’s system) made by Medtronic (Resolute®) and Boston Scientific (Promus Premier®).

MVHS physicians will often need to remove more persistent plaque or calcification by Coronary Atherectomy, using a Boston Scientific device called the Rotablator®.

Life-threatening blood clots often need to be removed from coronary arteries using the AngioJet System by Possis.