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Northern Dutchess Hospital to offer cardiac catherization this spring

Posted: 2/19/2020

To provide more efficient cardiac care locally, Northern Dutchess Hospital is investing in a cardiac catherization laboratory.

The hospital plans to start catheter-based cardiology procedures by the late spring, adding to its healthcare services to prevent and detect heart disease.

“We’ve been doing cardiac testing and rehab for decades, but this allows us to pursue more advanced diagnosing problems, including coronary artery disease – the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States,” said Denise George, hospital president.

The stage was set for a cardiac catherization laboratory in 2018, when the hospital opened a $3 million state-of-the-art interventional radiology suite equipped with advanced imaging equipment. The hospital has also put together a multidisciplinary team required for complex cases, from interventional physicians to specially trained technologists and nurses. The final step was state Department of Health approval, which came earlier this year.

In the cardiac catherization laboratory, cardiologists check for narrow or blocked arteries, see how well the heart muscle is working and decide what further treatments are needed, such as nonsurgical procedures, mainly stents, to open clogged arteries.

“The ‘cath lab’ at Northern Dutchess Hospital will give us a clearer picture of the patient’s needs and enable us to decide the best procedure plan,” said Dr. Louis Kantaros, a cardiologist with The Heart Center on the medical staff of the hospital.

Threaded through an artery until it reaches the heart, the catheter allows the doctor to look at the chambers, view the coronary arteries and determine if treatment is needed.

“Catheterization is regularly used to rule out a heart issues rather than find one,” Kantaros said. “In these cases, the outcome gives a patient confidence the heart is healthy and regular activities can be resumed without incident.”

Most cardiac catherization is outpatient-based.

“The majority of patients can go back to work or normal activities after only a day or two,” said Dr. Ali Hammoud, a cardiologist with The Heart Center and on the  hospital medical staff. “If the tests discover an issue, the downtime is related to the secondary procedure performed to correct the coronary arteries and/or any valve issue.”

Northern Dutchess Hospital provides cardiac services, including diagnostic testing, preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation.

“We are proud to offer this state-of-the-art technology that matches medical centers in the country,” George said.

For more about Northern Dutchess Hospital, visit www.healthquest.org/ndh. For more about The Heart Center, a division of Hudson Valley Cardiovascular Practice, P.C., visit www.healthquest.org/heartcenter.

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