Interventional and Clinical
The Heart Center at Wake Forest Baptist continues to be a leader in interventional cardiology. Our patients are the beneficiaries of cutting-edge technology, advanced surgical skills, and the support of a highly experienced patient care team. In 2010, the Heart Center opened the region’s first hybrid cardiac catheterization lab.
This lab is equipped with the specialized imaging technology required for percutaneous cardiovascular interventions coupled with the sterile field and anesthesia support required for cardiovascular surgery.
It offers patients, particularly high-risk patients, the most advanced therapies while minimizing risk. We are using the lab to perform percutaneous valve replacements, endovascular repairs of abdominal and thoracic aorta aneurysms, hybrid peripheral vascular disease procedures, structural repairs of atrial septal defects (ASDs) and patent foramen ovales (PFOs).
The hybrid cath lab creates an opportunity for cardiovascular surgeons and interventionalists to perform collaborative procedures, reducing the need for multiple surgeries and creating the potential to look at more innovative ways to treat complex conditions.
For decades, the most commonly used entry point for catheter-based procedures has been the femoral artery in the groin. Wake Forest Baptist is among the 10 percent of U.S. medical centers that have switched to the radial artery in the wrist for qualified patients.
|Robert J. Applegate, MD, and technician Amanda Smith examine the entry site of a radial artery cardiac catheterization. |
Radial access is as successful as the femoral artery approach and has lower rates of bleeding, bruising, and other complications, and it offers patients a shorter recovery period.
Our cardiologists and interventional cardiology research teams are consistently cited for their use of investigational devices. Our interventional cardiologists, in collaboration with the heart failure team, implant highly effective devices to support the heart in acute and high-risk situations until surgical or catheter-based procedures can be performed safely or more permanent devices can be implanted.
Chief of Cardiology William C. Little, MD, is the chair-elect of the Cardiovascular Disease Board of the ABIM, and received the 2010 Laennec Master Clinician award from the American Heart Association. Our interventional cardiology research team that includes cardiologist Robert J. Applegate, MD, is continuing to investigate the effectiveness, safety and deliverability of the latest drug-eluting stents compared to bare-metal stents.
Wake Forest Baptist’s Cardiovascular Information Service (CVIS) tracks the outcomes of patients who undergo interventional and cardiovascular surgery procedures. The Heart Center’s data is entered into the National Cardiovascular Database Registry, facilitating our cardiac care team’s contributions to the national conversation to improve cardio-vascular care.