Jonesboro, Ark.– NEA Baptist announced Monday a new treatment option for patients with severely calcified coronary artery disease living in Northeast Arkansas. The new technology is a novel application of lithotripsy, an approach that uses sonic pressure waves to safely break up kidney stones. It’s now available to treat problematic calcium in the coronary arteries that can reduce blood flow in the heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Each year, more than 600,000 people in the United States die of heart disease. As people with heart disease, specifically coronary artery disease, grow older and their disease progresses, plaque in the arteries evolves into calcium deposits, which can narrow the artery. Physicians often use stents to open an artery, and of the approximately one million patients that undergo a stent procedure each year, 30 percent have problematic calcium that increases their risk for adverse events.
Calcium makes the artery rigid and more difficult to reopen with conventional treatments, including balloons, which attempt to crack the calcium when inflated to high pressure, and atherectomy, which drills through the calcium to open the artery. While atherectomy has been available for several decades, its use remains low, as it can result in complications for patients who are undergoing stent procedures. The new shockwave technology, also known as intravascular lithotripsy or IVL, allows physicians to fracture the problematic calcium – using sonic pressure waves – so that the artery can be safely expanded, and blood flow is restored with the placement of a stent and without unnecessary complications.
NEA Baptist has also been recognized by The American College of Cardiology as a Chest Pain Center, AIC Accredited for Echo and CT non-invasive Cardiology, and Platinum status by the American College of Cardiology for best practice care.
NEA Baptist Health System comprises NEA Baptist Clinic, NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, and NEA Baptist Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care. The 228-bed hospital offers cancer care, heart care through the Heart Center, labor and delivery services through the hospital’s Women’s Center, as well as a number of inpatient and outpatient services, emergency care, and surgical services including weight loss surgery, neurology, respiratory care, and pulmonary rehabilitation. NEA Baptist Clinic’s over 110 physicians practice in more than 35 specialties and offer a wealth of services, from pediatrics to orthopedic services. For more information about NEA Baptist, please call 870-936-1000 or visit www.neabaptist.com