The Future Of Cardiovascular Care
September 20, 2022
Modern innovations mean faster treatment when every minute matters.
You can’t breathe. You feel a tightness in your chest, like an invisible hand has a vise grip on your heart. Pain shoots through your shoulder, and you think you could pass out at any moment. You are having a heart attack. Thankfully, you know to call 911 immediately. But what happens next?
If you go to Adventist Health St. Helena, expert cardiovascular providers start your care the moment you arrive. That’s thanks to new technology in the state-of-the-art cardiovascular suite that enables doctors and surgeons to quickly treat people experiencing heart attacks and other heart conditions.
Cardiovascular providers often use the phrase “time is muscle,” meaning the more time that passes during a heart attack episode, the more heart muscle is irreparably damaged. For this reason, Adventist Health providers quickly evaluate people exhibiting heart attack symptoms so they can receive proper treatment as soon as possible. Common symptoms include chest pain, trouble breathing, feeling faint or dizzy, and severe pain in the neck, back, jaw or shoulder.
A new way to operate
For years, people having heart attacks were treated only through open-heart surgery, which involves cutting through the sternum and opening the rib cage to access the heart. Recovery is painful and can often take months. Now, robot-assisted surgery has made it possible for surgeons to do complex heart procedures using small cameras and a robotic arm that mimics a surgeon’s precise movements. Many procedures, such as placing a small tube or balloon in the artery to keep it open, can be done through small incisions. Patients experience less pain and faster recovery times.
Heart care close to home
Adventist Health St. Helena’s new cardiovascular suite includes a hybrid operating suite, in which a robotic arm is linked to an advanced medical imaging system, allowing the surgeon to see internal details of the heart from multiple angles. The suite was funded by the St. Helena Hospital Foundation and created with the local community in mind. People in the Napa Valley have access to top technology and lifesaving treatments close to home, so they don’t need to travel far for world-class heart care.