Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
The staff at South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health knows that fast treatment is critical to limiting damage to the heart muscle. So speed and quality are important aspects of improving the health of our patients. And we’re serious about making sure each patient gets care as quickly as possible. Our experts handle a full range of treatment for conditions of the heart, blood vessels and heart valves, including vascular percutaneous treatment to open up blood vessels that supply the heart. Using angioplasty and other techniques, we regularly open up blocked blood vessels — so patients can avoid open-heart surgery.
For patients needing emergency cardiac catheterizations, we hold the distinction of maintaining a "door-to-balloon time" of under 70 minutes. This means that, from the time you enter our doors, the catheterization begins within 70 minutes. This is faster than the national standard of 90 minutes that is recommended by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
We perform many of these advanced procedures in the largest catheterization labs on Long Island, all fully equipped with the latest in diagnostic and interventional medical devices. We were also the first New York State Department of Health-approved laboratory on the south shore of Nassau County.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Using advanced tools and techniques, we diagnose and treat blocked arteries. For example, to diagnose blockages and develop a treatment plan, the GE fluoroscope is one of the most technologically advanced diagnostic tools available. It allows our physicians to view the inside of the heart vessels in real time using sound waves (intravascular ultrasound), to evaluate the blood supply to the heart. This test offers the most accurate diagnosis of a blockage in the artery, and precision in placing a stent. It also gives high-tech measurements of how much pressure is being exerted on the blood vessel, which our physicians also use to determine the most appropriate treatments.
Balloon angioplasty is the most common of our treatments for blocked blood vessels. During this procedure, your surgeon threads a catheter with an inflatable balloon into an artery and guides it to the blockage. The surgeon then inflates a tiny balloon inside the catheter, which pushes plaque against the artery wall, allowing blood to flow normally. We often use stents, as well, to keep the artery open.
For more information on these procedures or to make an appointment, please call (516) 632-3670.
Time Is Muscle: Gary's Story About Lifesaving Heart Catheterization
“Door-to-balloon time” is the time it takes to begin lifesaving balloon angioplasty to clear blocked arteries. At South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health, our average door-to-balloon time is about 70 minutes — 20 minutes faster than the national guidelines for this procedure. This measurement meant a lot to Gary Rosenburg one October Sunday.
Gary Rosenberg will never forget that day. As he was about to return a serve on the paddleball court, a tightness gripped the center of his chest. He left the court to drive to his Bellmore home, when he began to sweat profusely. Then both arms felt "dead." "I thought if I just relaxed a little, it would go away," he said. Within minutes of climbing into the shower, he vomited. The nausea was followed by shortness of breath. "I didn’t think I was dying," he said, then aged 43. "I thought I was Superman, and that I’d be OK in time." But this Superman needed help.
Rosenberg’s wife, Janie, called an ambulance that took him to South Nassau’s Emergency Department, where staff quickly diagnosed him with acute myocardial infarction: a heart attack. His heart muscle was being starved of oxygen. But Dr. Jason Freeman, Director of Interventional Cardiology, also acted quickly. He performed an angioplasty to open Rosenberg’s blocked coronary artery using a balloon-tipped catheter.
"Mr. Rosenberg had a clot in one of his three coronary arteries, the one that feeds the heart," Dr. Freeman said. "We unblocked the artery and restored normal blood flow." He also inserted a stent, a tiny netted tube, to prevent the clogged artery from closing again.
Within an hour, Rosenberg was in a bed watching the New York Giants football game, feeling like a "million dollars.” And thanks to quick diagnosis and treatment, his physician confirmed using an echocardiogram that he had no damage to his heart.
Watch a video of Gary's Rosenberg's story.
South Nassau’s Center for Cardiovascular Health
Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at South Nassau
Read another heart patient’s story