Laser Focused on the Heart

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CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital is proud to unveil its new advanced laser atherectomy technology, the first and only hospital-based laser in the region. This leading-edge device will have a direct and immediately positive impact on the quality of life for cardiac patients throughout Central Louisiana. “We desire to deliver not only comprehensive cardiac service to Central Louisiana, but specialized cardiac care,” said Brad Hargis, BSHM, RDCS, EMT-P, director of cardiology at CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini. “Our goal is to achieve the highest standards of care possible in this region.”

Laser Focused on the HeartLaser Atherectomy is an FDA-approved, minimally-invasive endovascular technique for removing plaque from blood vessels within the body. It modifies connective tissue that is too tough to easily be removed. The procedure uses a catheter that emits safe, cool, high-energy ultraviolet light to obliterate soft plaque. This new technology is good news to patients who have partially or completely blocked blood vessels somewhere in their body.

To prevent having to place another stent inside a blocked stent previously inserted, the laser is used to soften the area causing the blockage. “Imagine you’re holding a frozen stick of butter, said Hargis. “If you tried to squeeze it, you’d likely not make much of an impact in its overall shape. But, if you left it out on the counter overnight, it would be much easier to manipulate. That’s the same impact the laser has on underlying disease material causing a blockage. This makes it much easier to treat by using normal interventional methods without compromising the vessel or the previously placed stent. By increasing the opening for blood to flow through the vessel, in a previously implanted stent, we increase blood flow to more tissue.”

Laser Focused on the HeartThis technology can help interventional cardiologists and surgeons deliver life- and limb-saving solutions for patients suffering from coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease (PAD). Physicians with patients who previously had no other options for treatment now have an incredible tool at their disposal. The hospital is already yielding immediate results with its new laser atherectomy procedure.

“With rehabilitation, patients may return to normal activities, depending on if they have underlying conditions,” said Hargis. “When blood flow is returned to tissue, the muscle functions better and wounds can begin to heal. In patients with PAD, re-established blood flow can prolong or even prevent the need for amputation. With this tool at our disposal, we can help patients return to a point where they can actually pursue a better quality life–and that is ultimately why we are here.”

Laser Focused on the HeartTo find out if you qualify for laser atherectomy, please contact your cardiologist. To find a cardiologist, please call (844) CHRISTUS.