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News > Hospital performs high-tech heart procedure
Hospital performs high-tech heart procedure

Posted 4/4/2012   Updated 4/4/2012 Email story   Print story


by Steve Pivnick
81st Medical Group Public Affairs

4/4/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The Keesler Hospital's Catheterization Lab team has marked another milestone in patient care with a recent state-of-the-art procedure conducted on a Department of Veterans Affairs patient.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Steve Kindsvater, 81st Medical Operations Squadron chief of cardiovascular services, said the 66-year-old patient had been diagnosed with end-stage congestive heart failure due to coronary artery disease --blockages of the vessels in the heart.

"Two separate cardiovascular surgery groups determined him to be at too high of a risk for CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) surgery. The second CT surgery consultation actually had led to an attempt at bypass surgery but the surgery was halted when the patient didn't tolerate general anesthesia due to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure."

Kindsvater continued, "Since the patient is a VA beneficiary, we have been seeing him in consultation for procedures only, with his main cardiology care at the VA hospitals. Heart catheterization and other testing we accomplished here had revealed that if blood supply was able to be restored to the heart, then heart function would very likely improve. Rather than giving up, he was brought back to the Keesler hospital for consideration of other more novel options.

"He underwent a state-of-the-art procedure March 5, during which we used a percutaneous left-ventricular-assist apparatus called an Impella device inserted through the left groin artery.

The Keesler Hospital is one of only two places in Mississippi offering this level of cardiac support. Keesler has the only military hospital in the nation with this capability.

"Once we had inserted the (cardiac assist) device, we performed a hybrid procedure by implanting multiple high-risk coronary stents in three of his four main coronary arteries. The fourth main coronary artery will receive coronary bypass surgery with the heart still beating at Wesley Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss."

Kindsvater explained, "The hybrid part stenting and part open-heart bypass procedure with the left-ventricular-assist device is a novel, high-tech technique which offered this patient a chance for long-term survival."

In addition to Kindsvater, other members of the team involved in the procedure were: cardiologists Majs. (Drs.) Matthew Hann and Michael Benca; catheterization technicians Tech. Sgt. Matthew Worsham, Toni Rosetti and Adam Hudson; and nurses Capt. Aimee McLaurin, Katherine Hursey, Cherie Dahm and Alexandria Hults. In addition, nurse 1st Lt. William Moore accompanied the patient in the ambulance when he was taken to Wesley Hospital.

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