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Swedish Covenant Hospital Completes Successful High-Risk Angioplasty Procedure Using State-of-the-Art Mini-Heart Pump

by David Modica | Aug 25, 2016


Swedish Covenant Hospital is proud to have recently completed a new state-of-the-art angioplasty procedure led by Swedish Covenant Medical Group Interventional Cardiologist Steve Attanasio, D.O., FACC, FSCAI. It was the first of its kind to be performed at the hospital.

The procedure utilizes a leading-edge mini-heart pump called the Impella percutaneous left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which is inserted into the heart through a minimally invasive needle puncture in the groin. The pump, which was recently approved by the FDA for high-risk angioplasty and cardiogenic shock, regulates blood pressure and blood flow, bypassing some of the risks associated with performing conventional angioplasty in patients with complex coronary artery disease (CAD) and congestive heart failure.

In the first of what promises to be many successful procedures using the mini-heart pump, Dr. Attanasio used a diamond–tipped calcium debulking drill called a Rotablator to “sand” down the calcium deposits in order to optimally place stents in the arteries of a patient with complex coronary artery disease, heavily calcified arteries and congestive heart failure. With the mini-heart pump inserted and doing its job, there is less strain on the heart during the angioplasty procedure which opens a procedure to more patients who may otherwise not be candidates for bypass surgery or need a less invasive treatment option due to other medical problems.

“Using the LVAD and Rotablator, the patient was able to undergo a high-risk angioplasty procedure which he would not have been a candidate for without the LVAD in place,” said Dr. Attanasio. “In addition, by bringing this technology to Swedish Covenant Hospital, we are now able to allow patients to receive this advanced treatment close to their home, rather than having to transfer to a large university institution.”

cath lab_DSCF0036


The FDA has approved the LVAD for use in high-risk and complicated angioplasty procedures and, more recently, sanctioned its use in patients experiencing cardiogenic shock due to congestive heart failure. By leaving the pump in the patient’s heart for an extended period of time in cases of cardiogenic shock, the pump can act as a bridge to recovery while the heart heals or while the patient is transferred to a tertiary medical center for more complicated procedures such as heart transplant.

The Swedish Covenant Hospital Cardiovascular Department adopts a heart team approach to high-risk patient cases. This health care is advocated by the American College of Cardiology and appears in the guidelines as essential to delivering quality care with the best possible outcomes. “It takes a special collaboration between cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to make a program like this work”, said Dr. Attanasio. “We would not have achieved these positive results without the entire hospital and Cardiovascular Department working as a team.”

“Cardiology Department Chairman Dr. Sung Sup Kim, Cardiovascular Surgery Chairman Dr. Ronald Curran and Cardiovascular Surgeon Dr. Edgar Chedrawy have been extremely supportive of the high-risk angioplasty program and the use of newer, revolutionary technology,” said Dr. Attanasio “We could not have done this without the support of the Swedish Covenant Hospital administration and the extremely hard-working Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory staff.”
Attanasio w borderSteve Attanasio, D.O., is a board-certified cardiologist with Swedish Covenant Medical Group. He is board certified in cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, echocardiography and internal medicine. His specialties include interventional cardiology and peripheral arterial disease. 

Learn more about Swedish Covenant Hospital's cardiovascular services

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