Heart & Vascular Care
If you suffer from a heart attack, heart disease, stroke or another condition that affects the circulatory system, you need lifesaving treatment, right away. The Heart and Vascular Care specialists at Indiana University Health provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for all conditions affecting the heart and vascular system, including atherosclerosis (a buildup in the arteries), coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and more.
Heart and Vascular Care services at Indiana University Health North Hospital provides heart care for adults through some of the most technologically advanced testing and procedures available today. With one of the largest heart facilities in the region offering system-wide support, our heart and vascular services at IU Health North Hospital provide patients with a combination of clinical expertise and some of the most experienced cardiovascular physicians and staff in the state.
Our team of multidisciplinary specialists, including cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and clinical specialists, collaborate to deliver the most advanced treatment options, caring for patients with the most common problems to the most complex. As a Level One Heart Attack Program, we provide fast and coordinated care when you need it most. Constant communication among our team members and your family ensures everyone is informed at every stage of your care.
IU Health North Hospital is proud to offer $49 heart scans for patients at risk for heart disease. These screenings are done with same-day preliminary results. We also offer comprehensive adult interventional radiology, including arterial, venous and nonvascular diagnostic and interventional procedures. For those requiring surgery, we provide a seamless transition to Indiana University Health Saxony Hospital, if necessary, which is also located in Hamilton County in Fishers, Indiana.
Our specialists are nationally recognized for their expertise in heart and vascular care. In 2009, IU Health North Hospital was one of the first hospital systems awarded with Heart Failure Accreditation through the Society of Chest Pain Centers. And in February 2011, IU Health North Hospital was the first medical center in the country to be awarded with Heart Failure Accreditation through the Healthcare Colloquium. In addition, IU Health North Hospital received the ABC Award of Excellence for the best cauterization laboratory (cath lab) renovation under a specified dollar amount.
Our partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine is another benefit which offers access to the latest research and translates to better outcomes for our patients.
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Our Level One Heart Attack Program requires a high degree of coordination that starts with personnel who understand the need for a fast response and who can begin immediate medical treatment when the emergency department physician diagnoses a heart attack.
As the patient is being stabilized and prepared for the transfer by the referring center, the Level One staff coordinates air or ground transport to IU Health North Hospital. They also coordinate IU Health North Hospital-based physicians, nurses, chaplains, admissions and security officers to ensure there are no delays.
Once at IU Health North Hospital, a specialized team of physicians, nurses and technicians work to open the heart artery.
For most patients, the preferred treatment to open blocked heart arteries is done through a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This is also known as coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting and is performed in a specialized cardiac laboratory.
A PCI is performed by inserting a long, thin tube (catheter) with a small balloon on its tip into the affected artery. When the balloon is inflated, it presses the plaque against the artery wall and allows blood to flow more freely. Stents, which are small, mesh tubes, may also be used in conjunction with the balloon to keep the arteries open.
Echocardiography (3D) is by no means a new way of assessing a patient’s heart and its function. However, with recent advances in technical quality and new innovations in the way we use echocardiography, the test is continually changing. With our new Phillips IE33 ultrasound machine, IU Health North Hospital can now do a 3D echocardiography. This means that we are no longer limited to the two-dimensional world of the heart. Our technicians can now create new cross-sections and views and better visualize function and valvular integrity of the heart.
Our technology allows us to capture one real time 3D image and process it to create multiple images. This means that we only need to capture only a handful of images to create an entire study, as opposed to 2D imagery that required 50 or 60 individual images. This decreases the length of time the exam takes, making it easier for both the patient and technologist. This technology will also give way to more accurate and faster stress tests in the near future.
Nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is a modality (human-computer interaction) that aids in determining a patient’s risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). This process is achieved by injecting radioisotopes and evaluating the blood flow to the heart muscle during increased activity. Images are taken at rest and after exercise. At IU Health North Hospital, we utilize the Siemens E-cam multi-angle cardiac system. This system allows us to accommodate patients of different sizes by imaging in either a 76- or 90-degree angle. We can also use automatic body contouring, which increases image quality and resolution.
The system comes with a cardiac armrest that increases patient comfort while decreasing the risk of motion. The Siemens E-cam also provides cardiac imaging with a gate and an electrocardiogram (ECG) simultaneously. What this means is that images of the heart are captured at different points in the cardiac cycle and are put together in a moving display. This allows for interpretation of wall thickness, motion, perfusion, ventricular volume and an ejection fraction of the heart. The system software package allows for attenuation correction as well. Attenuation correction in MPI imaging reduces the amount of false-positive results. It achieves this by "correcting" for the breast, diaphragm and sub-diaphragmatic organs. Overall, this technology allows better patient comfort, better image quality and better overall satisfaction for patients and their physicians.