Using the most sophisticated tools and and advanced procedures
available, doctors can quickly, accurately diagnose and treat your heart
condition in St. Luke's accredited Chest Pain Center.
- On average, heart attack patients are treated 22 minutes faster at St. Luke's than most hospitals across the nation.
- We developed a process to quickly move heart attack patients from the Emergency Department (ED) to our Catheterization Lab (Cath Lab).
- As a result, we remove the blockage in your artery sooner, which lessens tissue damage and offers you a better outcome.
Arterial blockage is diagnosed during cardiac catheterization.
Dye is inserted into the arteries of the heart using a long, flexible
tube. The dye illuminates the blockage, allowing cardiologists to see
its size and location. Doctors then develop a custom treatment plan.
Specialized procedures, such as implanting pacemakers and
defibrillators, are performed in St. Luke's Electrophysiology (EP) Lab.
One of the most technologically advanced facilities in the state, our EP
Lab treats patients with abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). The
minimally invasive procedure uses pinpoint precision, allowing
patients to return to everyday activities quickly - sometimes in a
matter of days.
Doctors diagnose and evaluate circulatory problems such as
life-threatening blockages and narrowing of arteries, through
sophisticated, noninvasive screening methods in the Vascular lab. The
most common conditions diagnosed include:
- Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) - blood flow to the extremities is restricted
- Occlusive disease - a complete block of blood flow through a vessel
- Vasospastic disorders - blood vessel spasms; results in decreased vessel opening
- Aneurysm - weakening of the inner wall of a blood vessel; leads to vessel ballooning out of shape
- Fistula - abnormal connection between two vessels
- Small vascular tumor
About St. Luke's Heart Center Recent Renovations
On Nov. 12, 2000, St. Luke’s opened the new Nassif Heart Center in Cedar Rapids. The 44,000-square-foot, two-floor center was specifically designed and built to serve as the center for St. Luke’s renowned heart care services. Over the last 20 years, St. Luke’s has been the leader in heart care services offering two fully equipped cardiac catheterization labs, electrophysiology lab, expanded vascular capabilities, and educational facilities for on-going patient support and a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation area with walking track and specialized exercise equipment.
As times change and medical technology improves, enhancements are needed. Over the past several months, teams have been working to complete a $5 million dollar renovation of the Heart Center. The renovation project included $3 million dollars in equipment upgrades, including a new imaging system, which now offers the latest in cardiovascular imaging technology. Patient rooms in the Heart Center were upgraded as well as the nurse’s station, lobby, staff locker room and a new consultation area was added.
“The renovation began with a need to update our imaging technology in the catheterization labs. Imaging systems typically need to be updated every 10 years or so. As the area’s heart hospital, we are proud to invest in upgrading our patient and team member areas,” explains Casey Greene, vice president and chief operating officer, UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids.
St. Luke’s is one of the leading cardiac facilities in Iowa. In 2019, St. Luke’s performed nearly 1,700 diagnostic cardiac catheterizations, 27,000 diagnostic cardiology exams, 500 cardiac interventions, 260 open heart surgeries, 700 electrophysiology procedures and 6,100 outpatient cardiac rehab sessions. In addition, rating agencies, such as HealthGrades and IBM Watson regularly rank St. Luke’s among the best in the nation with outstanding quality and patient outcomes.
“Patients and visitors will see a cleaner, modern look. This new imaging system along with the new ancillary equipment allows our providers to work with the most advanced technology to provide the best possible outcomes for our patients,” says Mark Butschi, St. Luke’s Heart Center Manager. “The new imaging system has a detector with a larger field of view and meets the imaging requirements for peripheral vascular as well as coronary procedures. The system also delivers optimal image quality at the lowest radiation level, making it safer for patients.”