Heart Surgeries & Treatments

As the area's heart hospital, St. Luke's has performed open heart surgery for over 40 years.  For patients with severe arterial blockage, it can be life-saving treatment.  St. Luke's accredited Chest Pain Center also offers the newest, most effective procedures and the latest technology, including the following minimally invasive techniques. In 2016, St. Luke's Hospital became the first Cedar Rapids hospital to perform, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, Often aortic valve replacement was completed through open heart surgery, TAVR is a less invasive procedure that does not require open-heart surgery.  As a trusted leader, we continue to specialize in innovation and the latest technology. 

Angioplasty

To treat arterial blockages, balloon angioplasty uses a small, inflatable device that opens a narrowed artery. Another option is cutting-blade angioplasty, where tiny blades shave away plaque to open a blockage.

For blockages caused by a blood clot, doctors can use the AngioJetTM, which uses saline jets to break up the clot and vacuum away the tiny fragments. Similarly, the Rotablator®, a small, football-shaped drill bit, can also reduce plaque to microscopic particles.

Once the artery is opened with angioplasty, stents may be inserted. A stent presses the plaque against the artery wall to keep the artery open. Because scar tissue can develop around the stent, some patients may receive stents that release medicine to prevent it. If scar tissue does form, our Beta-CathTM System uses low-level radiation to destroy cells that create scar tissue and clear the arteries.

Cryoablation

A potentially life-saving treatment for patients with arrhythmia (which is an irregular heartbeat), cryoablation freezes the heart tissue temporarily in order to restore normal rhythm. A minimally invasive procedure, it allows the doctor to locate and repair the source of the arrhythmia without damaging the heart. It is performed on an outpatient basis in just a few hours, and patients can resume normal activities in a matter of days.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator

Patients who experience more serious arrhythmia may benefit from a defibrillator. This heartbeat-regulating device is implanted under the skin of the upper chest. When an older pacemaker or defibrillator lead needs to be removed or replaced, the Excimer laser is used to precisely cut away built up scar tissue.

Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP)

For patients with angina, EECP uses inflatable external cuffs placed on the legs to create natural bypasses around clogged arteries. This treatment increases blood flow to the heart and can greatly reduce and even eliminate the almost paralyzing pain that accompanies angina.

For more information on any of these therapies and treatment options, talk with your doctor, email us or call (319) 369-7318.