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St. Francis Brings Cardiac Care Closer to Residents South of the James
Angioplasty and other procedures now available
Residents south of the James will no longer have to leave Chesterfield County for cardiac services. Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center now offers cardiac care that includes percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) or angioplasty, a procedure typically performed on patients with blocked arteries – making St. Francis the only hospital in Chesterfield County to offer PCI on an elective basis. PCI is a non-surgical elective procedure using balloons or stents to open blocked arteries.
The elective PCI procedures are the first in a series of new services that will be available at St. Francis. Also, St. Francis will offer primary angioplasty, which is performed on patients suffering from heart attacks.* Following the introduction of primary angioplasty, additional cardiac services will become available.
Ravinder Kohli, M.D., an intervention cardiologist with Cardiology Associates of Central Virginia who performed the first PCI at St. Francis earlier this year, said “Offering PCI on an elective basis was a landmark step for St. Francis. Though the facility is relatively new, the medical expertise is mature and very experienced. We are pleased to be able to provide this service to the community.”
Earlier this year, St. Francis began providing interventional cardiac catheterization services, like PCI and balloon and stenting of coronary arteries. And within the next year to year-and-a-half, pacemaker procedures and other implants as well as electrophysiology studies and ablations, (non-surgical procedures typically used on patients with abnormal heart rhythms), will be available.
“St. Francis has an excellent, trained cardiac staff and our pre-and-post care services for patients are outstanding,” said Shaival Kapadia, M.D., Cardiovascular Associates of Virginia, P.C. “It’s our team approach that works so well for the patients. As we continue to make new services available, our patients will have better access to these life-saving procedures.”
“St. Francis is working aggressively to introduce a number of new services including primary angioplasty for patients with acute symptoms,” said Dr. Kohli. “Our goal is to make St. Francis a one-stop shop for cardiology.”
St. Francis offered cardiac catheterization shortly after its opening in 2005. Since then a full complement of inpatient and outpatient cardiac services have been added including nuclear medicine, cardiac catheterization, echocardiography and cardiac stress testing.
Elective PCI cases began in February and have been consistently increasing. “We are seeing a significant influx of patients coming to St. Francis for this procedure,” said Terrie Edwards, executive vice president and administrator of St. Francis.
St. Francis Medical Center is one of four hospitals in the Bon Secours Richmond Health System, which includes St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center and Richmond Community Hospital, as well as Bon Secours HealthSource, comprised of more than 20 physician practice groups.
PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) encompasses a variety of procedures used to treat patients with diseased arteries of the heart, caused by a build-up of fats, cholesterol and plaque that can reduce blood flow, or a heart attack caused by a large blood clot that completely blocks the artery.
Typically, PCI is performed by threading a slender balloon-tipped tube – a catheter – from an artery in the groin to a trouble spot in an artery of the heart. The balloon is then inflated, compressing the plaque and widening the narrowed coronary artery so that blood can flow more easily. This is often accompanied by inserting an expandable metal stent. Stents are wire mesh tubes used to prop open arteries.