Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s cardiac catheterization lab is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with Philips’ digital flat-plane cardiac–vascular X-ray system. This sophisticated system provides a distortion free, high-resolution, 3D image of the heart’s coronary arteries, a key advance over the grainy images currently available in most hospitals’ technology.
In addition to the Philips cardiac–vascular X-ray system, the cardiac cath lab has a state-of-the-art archival system that is not available at any other health care facility locally. With it, cardiologists will be able to compare such images as angiograms and echocardiograms side by side.
The lab offers expanded services to cardiologists, interventional radiologists and vascular surgeons and significantly increases the number of patients cared for at the lab.
Most cardiac catheterizations are through the femoral artery — a blood vessel located in the groin. A needle is inserted into the artery and a straw-like tube called an introducer sheath is passed into the artery, and a catheter is carefully passed through the blood vessel with x-ray guidance until it reaches the heart. A contrast dye is injected through the catheter, and X-ray films are made as the dye moves through the coronary arteries and chambers. Those X-ray images allow physicians to determine what is happening in the heart. If blockages are observed, it is possible to treat them by performing a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) using the same arterial passageway that already contains the catheter.