Heart Surgeries & Treatments
As Cedar Rapids' Heart Hospital, St. Luke's has performed open heart surgery for more than 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 several minimally invasive techniques listed below.
In 2016, St. Luke's Hospital became the first Cedar Rapids hospital to perform, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Often, aortic valve replacement was completed through open heart surgery; TAVR is a less-invasive procedure that does not require open heart surgery.
We are also the only hospital in Cedar Rapids to offer WATCHMAN, MitraClip and Shockwave. The WATCHMAN is a small device placed in the part of the heart where clots are most likely to form and acts as a barrier to keep them from entering the bloodstream. MitraClip is a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery that's used for patients who are diagnosed with mitral regurgitation (a leaky mitral valve). Shockwave is a new way of opening blocked arteries for those who have severe heart disease. The catheter-based procedure delivers sonic pressure waves to fracture the buildup of calcified plaque and reestablish blood flow.
As a trusted leader, we continue to specialize in innovation and apply the latest technology. Recognized nationally, our heart care team from St. Luke's ER to the cardiology and open heart surgery team, ensure patients receive the most advanced cardiac treatments.
Drs. James Levett, Physicians' Clinic of Iowa cardiothoracic surgeon (retired), and Ryan Sundermann, UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital Emergency Department medical director, talk about how the diagnosis is made, along with what happens during open-heart surgery and the teamwork between St. Luke's ER team and the UnityPoint Health - Heart & Vascular Institute.
Why Choose the Cedar Rapids Heart Hospital?
- Named a Top 50 Heart Hospital six times - more than any other Cedar Rapids hospital
- Accredited Chest Pain Center
- Fast heart attack care – 13 minutes from entering the Emergency Room to clearing a blockage in the cath lab – St. Luke's fastest-recorded time clearing blocked arteries
- Home of the Cedar Rapids Heart and Vascular Institute, leading the way in heart care advances, technology and research studies
- Experienced team of cardiologists
- Experience matters: St. Luke's has been performing open heart surgery for more than 40 years
- Long history of being a leader and innovator in heart care excellence
St. Luke's can help assess your risk for heart problems and give you the tools you need to improve your heart health.
- Call (319) 369-8129 to sign up for St. Luke's Heart Check. Five easy tests assess your heart, vascular and stroke health.
- Call (319) 369-8909 to schedule a Heart Scan identifies calcified plaque in your coronary arteries and assesses your heart's health. There are no injections, treadmills or pre-test fasting.
- Check your heart health and talk to your provider about heart disease risk factors.
To treat arterial blockages, balloon angioplasty uses a small,
inflatable device that opens a narrowed artery. 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.
Similar to angioplasty, Shockwave involves the insertion of a catheter and an emitter through the wrist or leg arteries. When the device is turned on, it sends a pulse into the vessel wall to break down the hardened material. The artery can then be more easily expanded and a stent implanted. Shockwave, also known as intravascular lithotripsy (IVL), is based on lithotripsy technology, the process used to safely break up kidney stones.
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.
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.