South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 24, 2020

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July 2017 - Volume 14 - Issue 1




Image-Guided Therapy Transforms Cardiovascular Care

The expanding field of image-guided therapy exists in high-tech healthcare environments where science, art and imagination have intersected to save and improve the lives of patients.

Teams of specialists, including interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, cardiac surgeons and interventional neuroradiologists, continue to transform cardiovascular care by pioneering complex procedures using minimally invasive, image-guided techniques.
It’s not just about heart attacks and stroke, but cancer lesions and benign tumors and aneurysms — any condition that can be diagnosed or treated by accessing blood vessels like a highway, rather than cutting open the body.
The recently completed, $120 million expansion of Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute serves as a showcase for these medical and technological advances. To design and equip new interventional suites at the Institute, brainstorming sessions with a team of multidisciplinary cardiovascular specialists, administrators and architects were held to envision an optimal facility for the future.
The goal was to create an environment that exploits the similarities that exist among cardiovascular specialties, from the treatment of acute stroke and acute myocardial infarction, to treatment for a cold leg or ruptured vessel. This consolidation of specialty treatment within a single physical plant benefits both patients and physicians.
In the Institute’s Center for Advanced Endovascular Therapies, which houses new interventional suites, technology and specialized lighting were placed thoughtfully and precisely to enable physicians from different disciplines to work together on an unprecedented range of procedures. The concept marries an interventional approach with a full surgical capacity, integrating the diversity of image-guided procedures that can be accomplished.
The suites are set up for such procedures as a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or hybrid coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG), as well as the treatment of all types of aortic aneurysms with less-invasive therapies. A surgical procedure like femoral endarterectomy may be combined with a superficial femoral artery (SFA) angioplasty and stenting. Together, a team of neurointerventionists and neurosurgeons can collaborate to treat a complex stroke or ruptured brain aneurysm, preparing to take any approach necessary to give the patient the best chance of survival and recovery.
The interventional suites at the Institute are ready to facilitate procedures that don’t even exist yet, but can be imagined. In addition, the suites create a better environment for patients by providing more comfort and reducing the invasiveness.
Peer review and transparency are important elements at any clinical and research facility. Two of the Institute’s suites have glass walls through which medical educators and students in theater-style gallery seating can watch the action, using interactive controls that support on-site learning and real-time, worldwide webcasting.
Technology has made possible advances in the field. The interventional suites are equipped with a new image-guided platform, which represents the manufacturer’s global launch. Called Azurion, the system offers quality images at ultra-low X-ray doses and real-time image processing on multiple work spots within the interventional lab. In addition, procedure cards allow clinicians to pre-program routine tasks and user preferences to make procedures quicker and more efficient, which ultimately benefits the patient.
As part of the Institute expansion, a 36-bed, pre- and post-care unit was added to create a more comfortable and seamless experience for the many outpatients undergoing interventional procedures. The interventional suites, which can be intimidating to patients, also were designed to soften and improve the feel of the high-tech environment. A conscious patient brought into the room for a procedure is greeted with music and pleasant video scenery on the monitors.
Even more important for the patient, the future of image-guided therapy will focus on continuing to seek less-invasive procedures. The trajectory of advanced technology used by innovative physicians and staff suggests more breakthroughs are on the horizon.           

Dr. Barry T. Katzen is Founder and Chief Medical Executive at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. For more information, call (786) 596-2700, email or visit

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