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Renovated Cath Lab Adds State-of-the-Art Technology

Safer X-rays, improved imaging and leading-edge treatments highlight the improvements at LVH–Pocono

Cath Lab at LVH–Pocono

With technological innovations moving at a dizzying pace. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono recently renovated its catheterization laboratory to add the latest innovations in imaging and treatment.

Centralized information

Viewing and comparing images is easier than ever with a new large display monitor that allows cardiologists to see multiple modalities side by side, all at the click of a button.

“The doctor taking care of the patient can have everything right at their fingertips, right by the patient’s bedside,” says Andrew Lefever, lead technologist at LVH–Pocono. “Like in a football game when the referee has to run to the sidelines for an instant replay, the doctors used to have to leave the room to look at other images. Now, the referee no longer has to leave the field – the doctor can see biometrics in real time, both current and old X-ray images, intravascular ultrasounds, echocardiograms and more.”

Better X-rays

X-rays can now be done with one-third the dose of radiation, minimizing the risk to an individual’s skin without compromising the quality of the imaging.

New tech also allows enhanced visualization of previously implanted coronary stents, which typically appear faintly on an X-ray.

“When we’re trying to do fine detail work, we want to make sure it’s an exact fit,” Lefever says. “This technology highlights the stent more effectively so we can truly see where the edges are and can be 100 percent confident that we’re within the boundaries of the stent.”

Upgraded capabilities

Two new additions to the lab are coronary intravascular lithotripsy and the Impella Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD). These are both significant differentiators not available anywhere else nearby.

Arteries that have been blocked by calcified plaque can now be cleared via coronary intravascular lithotripsy, which uses sonic pressure waves to restore elasticity to blood vessels. The technology is modeled on urologic lithotripsy, used in kidney stone treatment.

A balloon pump catheter was formerly the best device available to help the heart pump blood, adding about 0.2 liters of blood per minute. Now, the Impella LVAD can add up to 3 liters per minute. 

“You can have a patient whose heart is barely pumping and, providing there’s still tissue alive there, it gives us 15 times the blood support any other mechanical device could,” Lefever says. “It lets the heart tap out for a minute until it can ride out the storm.”

Plans are underway to continue updating cath lab equipment in the next two years, in the areas of interventional cardiology, electrophysiology and more.


Check the calendar

Providers, to refer a person for cardiology services call 888-402-LVHN (5846). If you are a patient, call 888-402-LVHN to request an appointment.

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