Logan Regional Hospital begins interventional cardiology services; completes first stent placement this week

Debbie Ostrander

 (435) 716-5309

 debbie.ostrander@imail.org

 3/16/2012

Expanded heart services launched this week at Logan Regional Hospital’s new state-of-the-art, fully digital heart catheterization lab. This cath lab provides interventional cardiology services including balloon angioplasty and the placement of stents to open blocked arteries — two stent procedures were performed this week by Interventional Cardiologist Gerald I. Polukoff, M.D. of Cache Valley Heart Clinic.

“I am privileged to work with this team and start the interventional cardiology program at Logan Regional Hospital,” said Dr. Polukoff. “We now have the capability to perform emergency, life-saving heart procedures right here in the valley.”

“This is a major milestone for our community,” said Mike Clark, Logan Regional Hospital CEO. “There are important advantages to having expanded cardiac care available locally. Time is muscle for heart attack victims. Prompt, effective intervention saves heart muscle and saves lives. We can fully diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate many local heart attack patients right here where they can be close to home and family — enhancing care and saving them an expensive helicopter transport to hospitals in Ogden or Salt Lake City. Also, for those in our community who may have coronary artery disease, we can identify and open partially blocked arteries before they have further cardiac complications.”

Scott Swenson of Providence, age 53, was the first patient to receive a stent placement in the new cath lab on Tuesday. Swenson had been experiencing increasing chest pain over time, pain limiting some of his active lifestyle such as serving on the ski patrol at Beaver Mountain. When Swenson visited his doctor last week for another health concern, he followed up about the heart pain and was referred to the cardiologists at Cache Valley Heart Clinic. After an initial examination and diagnosis of coronary artery disease, Swenson considered his options and decided to have an angiogram and stent placement performed at Logan Regional. Dr. Polukoff found the blood flow to Swenson’s heart was 75-percent blocked. Stent placement opened the artery and restored blood flow.

“Dr. Polukoff is tremendous and has extensive experience and credentials. He made me feel very comfortable. The hospital staff was great and treated me with care and concern,” said Swenson. “For a procedure like my stent placement, it is much easier on me and my family to have it done here locally. My wife, parents, and siblings were able to be here when I came out of recovery. They didn’t have to make trips driving hundreds of miles to be with me. I would recommend Logan Regional Hospital to others needing this service.”

Logan Regional Hospital is opening a total of two new catheterization labs that provide a range of diagnostic and interventional cardiology procedures, specialized radiology services, and pain management procedures. Logan Regional’s previous cath lab provided diagnostic services only. The full cath lab suite will be open in the spring, with a community open house planned for May 31. Interventional cardiology services are made possible in part thanks to generous community contributions to the Logan Regional Hospital Foundation. The Foundation continues to need and accept donations in this campaign.

“We are thrilled to have Dr.. Polukoff start our interventional cardiology program,” said Clark. “He is a highly skilled, well-respected specialist with many years of experience and a great reputation as an interventional cardiologist. Over time, we plan to add additional interventional cardiologists and expand coverage to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Heart patients requiring heart-bypass surgery and some other advanced procedures will still be transported to Ogden or Salt Lake City for treatment.

Dr. Polukoff has extensive interventional cardiology experience including work at Intermountain Medical Center, University of Utah, and as a private practice cardiologist in Salt Lake City and Texas.

More about stent placement:

A stent is a small metal coil or tube that is placed in a narrowed artery to hold it open. To place the stent, the interventional cardiologist first performs angioplasty or atherectomy to compress or cut away plaque buildup in the artery. Sometimes the stent can be placed during an initial balloon angioplasty. The procedure happens in 3 steps:

  1. An expandable balloon catheter, with a stent attached, is positioned inside the narrowed artery.
  2. The balloon is expanded.
  3. The balloon catheter is deflated and withdrawn. The stent remains behind to hold open the artery and help maintain good blood flow.
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