A new catheterization lab is opening at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, which will expand capacity by 25 percent, bringing the number of cath labs at the Philadelphia campus to four.
The new lab reflects the increasing demand for procedures which can be performed without open heart surgery. “People want minimally invasive options,” said Jon George, MD, medical director of the Catheterization Laboratory. “Sometimes if you offer surgery as the only option, patients decline and don’t get treatment. If you are able to offer a less invasive option, they may be more willing to do it.”
While opening blocked arteries in the heart is now commonplace, newer technology has enabled interventionalists to expand the spectrum of minimally invasive therapies. Diseased heart valves can now be replaced without open heart surgery through catheters, and blockages in veins, the vessels that return blood back to the heart, are also treatable in the lab. All of these procedures are performed with a multi-disciplinary team in place, after discussion of the benefits and risks of open surgery versus minimally invasive procedures.