Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Performs 100,000th Heart Catheterization
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Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Performs 100,000th Heart Catheterization 

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Milestone Procedure December 12th

Norfolk, VA - December 12, 2003 - Today, the 100,000th heart catheterization patient had a milestone procedure performed at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital by Dr. Carl W. Hartman, a cardiologist. In 1967 Sentara Norfolk General Hospital performed its first diagnostic heart catheterization, a procedure that detects blockages in the arteries. At the time, it was a very uncomfortable procedure that took two to three hours, used a dye that caused a burning sensation, and required an open operating room as back up. Nearly 40 years later, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital performed its 100,000th heart catheterizaton in a much different environment.

The full range of heart catheterizations-from diagnostic to interventional and used to detect and treat heart disease-are now done routinely at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the area's volume leader performing approximately 8,200 total procedures each year. Seasoned doctors and clinicians no longer require operating room back up when performing an average of 35 catheterizations each day versus the one per day performed at the program's inception.

Cardiologist Ronald A. Stine, M.D., "With one of the busiest catheterization labs in the country, we consistently achieve outcomes that outpace national standards of excellence. I am pleased to offer that to patients across Hampton Roads."

Technological advances in cardiology over the years have focused on treating and managing heart and vascular disease in the least invasive manner possible. At Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, using the latest in minimally invasive techniques and equipment, more catheter-based procedures are an option for patients before surgery is necessary. And advances in stents-including the newly FDA approved drug-eluting stent-makes managing artery blockage and reblockage more effective for longer periods of time.

Cardiologist Carl W. Hartman, M.D. said, "This is one of the most exciting times of my career. We are offering patients safer and newer treatments for heart disease within the catheterization lab that were previously only available with surgery-everything from repairing holes in the heart to opening artery blockages."

The 100,000th catheterization took place at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital December 12, 2003.

About Heart Care at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital: Since the cardiac program's inception at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in 1967, clinicians and doctors have performed nearly 32,900 open-heart surgeries, more than 200 heart transplants, and 100,000 catheterization procedures. About 8,200 total catheterization procedures are performed each year. Of those, approximately 6,000 are diagnostic and another 2,200 are interventional procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent implantation.

Bare metal stents were first introduced at the hospital in the mid-1990s, and in 2003 Sentara Norfolk General Hospital became the first Hampton Roads hospital to implant a drug-eluting stent. This acclaimed program has received national recognition in U.S. News & World Report's 2003 survey of America's Best Hospitals, most recently ranking 21st out of the top 50 U.S. hospitals named for cardiac care excellence in the country.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's heart program also ranks number one in Virginia for overall cardiac services according to HealthGrades(r), a health care quality company. In 2003, it became Virginia's only hospital ranked among the top 100 cardiovascular hospitals in the U.S. for five consecutive years by Solucient, a healthcare intelligence firm. Sentara is building a state-of-the art, digital heart hospital-Sentara Heart Hospital-expected to open 2006.

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