Hospital to open heart center

LAFAYETTE — In mid-December, the Regional Medical Center of Acadiana plans to open its new Heart Institute, its center for cardiac care, hospital officials said Wednesday.

The $10 million renovation will provide cardiovascular patients with team-managed care and the area’s first hybrid catheter lab and operating room, said Becky Barnes, the hospital’s chief operating officer. Barnes led a tour of the renovations of the hospital’s third floor on Wednesday.

The renovation consolidates cardiac care delivered at the hospital to one floor and unit and creates a “hospital within a hospital” for cardiac patients who will no longer be transferred from floor to floor during their stay, Barnes said.

The “one mission on one floor” concept was envisioned by the hospital’s physicians and personnel to provide a team approach to caring for cardiac patients, she said.

The renovation involves a cardiovascular operating room, a cardiovascular intensive care unit, a wing of rooms for inpatient and outpatient procedures, a hybrid cath lab/operating room and new technology, such as new, higher-resolution X-ray technology for minimally invasive surgical procedures.

The new cardiovascular operating room is about 30 percent larger than the current operating room and provides greater flexibility in moving or adding equipment to the room, said Dr. Mitchell Lirtzman, a cardiovascular surgeon. The flexibility provides “optimum access to the patient,” he said.

The hybrid suite is a “unique concept” because it is part operating room and part catheter lab, said Dr. Raghotham Patlola, a cardiologist.

The changes make the hospital the first in the region to offer a hybrid suite with technology that enables a minimally invasive option for percutaneous aortic valve replacement, Patlola said.

Typically, the patient’s chest must be cracked for a percantenous aorotic valve replacement, but the new technology enables the procedure to instead be done using catheters inserted in the groin area, he said.

The hybrid suite also makes it possible to transform from cath lab mode to a sterilized operating room within minutes in the event of any emergency, Lirtzman said.

Another bonus is that the large size of the suite enables different care teams to “work in concert” together on a patient case, he added.

The renovation project is expected to be complete next month.

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