Advanced Cardiac Procedures Close to Home
The Richard A. Reif Heart Institute's fellowship-trained physicians and surgeons bring years of experience to the heart of Bucks County. The Institute's clinical and nursing staff members are specially certified in cardiac care, and patients benefit from leading edge technology and a continuum of care that focuses on patient comfort and safety from admission through discharge.
The Heart Institute offers highly advanced procedures normally found only at large teaching institutions. Below are a few of the reasons why The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is a national leader in cardiac care:
Minimally invasive cardiac valve surgery
Cardiothoracic surgeon, Joseph S. Auteri, MD, FACS, medical director of The Richard A. Reif Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is an expert in minimally invasive valve surgery. Nearly 1 in 3 cardiac valve surgeries done at Doylestown Hospital is a minimally invasive procedure, and that number is growing. This includes minimally invasive aortic valve repair or replacement, and mitral valve repair and replacement.
Conditions that may require heart valves to be repaired or replaced include calcium build up (stenosis), and valve disfunction or leakage (insufficiency). The minimally invasive approach can also be used for some single-vessel bypass procedures, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
The smaller surgical instruments used in minimally invasive surgery typically require only 2 or 3-inch incisions, much smaller than the incisions used in traditional open heart procedures. Because smaller incisions eliminate the need for sternotomy, or splitting of the breast bone, patients experience less pain, lower rates of infection and a quicker return to normal activities.
Ablation of Ventricular tachycardia/Epicardial VT ablation program
Doylestown Hospital electrophysiologists (EP physicians) offer highly specialized treatment for patients who have severe weakening of the bottom chambers of the heart, called cardiomyopathy. Often these patients are prone to developing life-threatening arrhythmias called ventricular tachycardia (VT) in the bottom chambers of the heart. Our EP physicians have extensive expertise performing ablations of ventricular tachycardia.
While most of these abnormal rhythms start on the heart's interior, they can also start on the outside of the heart. In November, 2008 Doylestown electrophysiologists performed the first Epicardial VT Ablation in Bucks County, which is a procedure otherwise only available at a few dozen large teaching institutions across the country.
During Epicardial VT ablation, electrophysiologists target the abnormal rhythms on the outside of the heart without open-heart surgery. They use a small needle placed through the chest wall and into the pericardium (the sack that surrounds the heart). Then, special catheters are placed through this needle and the surgeon uses a tiny laser to burn away microscopic areas of muscle on the outside of the heart to eliminate the dangerous arrhythmias.
Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation Imagery
Radial artery approach for catheterization
Historically, cardiac catherizations have been performed by threading a catheter throught the femoral artery in a patient's groin and maneuvering it through the body up to the heart. Radial artery stenting is a newer procedure in which the catheter is inserted into the radial artery in a patient's wrist instead of the femoral artery. Benefits for patients include less bleeding and the capability to get up and move around sooner after the procedure.
Not every angioplasty can be accomplished through the radial artery, and only a select group of hospitals have interventional cardiologists with the specialized training and level of expertise required for this procedure. At Doylestown Hospital, more than 70% of all catheterizations are done using the less invasive, radial approach.