First-of-its-Kind Treatment Option for Advanced Heart Disease
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 the condition. As people with heart 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 treat with current technologies and can result in complications for patients who are undergoing stent procedures. Silver Cross Hospital now offers new technology, intravascular lithotripsy or IVL, allowing physicians to safely fracture problematic calcium - using sonic pressure waves - so that the artery can be expanded, and blood flow is restored with the placement of a stent and without unnecessary complications.