SOURCE: OR-Live, Inc.

December 18, 2007 07:15 ET

REMINDER: ORLive presents: Coronary Angioplasty -- One of the Most Common Surgical Procedures in the United States

Live Webcast: From St. Mary's Medical Center Duluth: December 18, 2007 at 6:30 PM CST (December 19, 2007 at 00:30 UTC)

DULUTH, MN--(Marketwire - December 18, 2007) - St. Mary's Duluth Clinic Heart Center in Duluth, MN, plans to broadcast a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also called a coronary angioplasty, live on The webcast is slated for Tuesday, December 18, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. The public will be able to watch doctors use a minimally invasive procedure to relieve a blocked artery in the heart.

A member of the interventional cardiology team at the Heart Center will perform the live procedure. At the same time, two of their colleagues, interventional cardiologists Michael Lucca, MD, and Kathleen Braddy, MD, FACC, will help to explain the surgery and answer questions as they are e-mailed by viewers.

The interventional cardiology team at St. Mary's Duluth Clinic Heart Center includes Lisa Abrahams, MD, Kathleen Braddy, MD, FACC, Albert Deibele, MD, Wilson Ginete, MD, Nancy Hassinger, MD and Michael Lucca, MD.

Dr. Albert Deibele says he hopes the live webcast will help to educate patients about a heart procedure that brings many people to the hospital. "It's one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States, with one million people in the U.S. having this every year," he explains.

At St. Mary's cardiac catheterization lab, specially trained cardiologists perform about 1,600 PCIs every year. Dr. Deibele says higher volumes like this lead to better outcomes for patients. "We provide excellent, consistent cardiac care," he notes. "When you come to the Heart Center, we can replicate this on a daily basis for every patient."

The St. Mary's Duluth Clinic Heart Center has received national recognition for providing high quality cardiac care. Solucient, an independent data-tracking company, has named it a Top 100 Heart Hospital eight times. Dr. Deibele says this webcast will help to illustrate that patients at the Heart Center receive the same level of care as if they were treated in a much larger metropolitan area.

The percutaneous coronary intervention will be the fifth live surgical webcast to be broadcast from St. Mary's Medical Center -- but it's the first live look inside the hospital's cardiac cath lab. During previous webcasts, patients have had the opportunity to watch a minimally invasive abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, a pediatric osteotomy, minimally invasive colon surgery and knee-replacement surgery at St. Mary's. Archives of those programs are still available on this website.

PCI refers to a procedure where a cardiologist threads a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into an artery in the patient's groin. The physician gently guides the catheter through the blood vessels to the heart. A special fluid is injected through the catheter. Using high-tech x-ray photography, a physician can spot a blockage as the heart pumps the dye through the arteries.

Dr. Deibele says there can be several causes for a blocked or narrowed heart artery, including cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and age. "Cholesterol, fibrous tissue and calcium all combine to form the blockage," he explains. At the Heart Center, Dr. Deibele uses the latest technology in three-dimensional imaging to get a very clear look at the problem vessel.

In many cases, the cardiologist needs to insert a small balloon through the catheter to the point of the blockage, where it's inflated to widen the vessel. Sometimes a stainless steel mesh tube called a stent is inserted to prop open the artery. This stent can also be coated with a medication that prevents scar tissue from forming.

Dr. Deibele says recovery is often quick for this type of minimally invasive procedure. The patient can typically be up and walking 12 to 24 hours after the procedure, and hospital stays generally last a day or two.

Visit: to learn more and view a program preview. VNR:

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Alex Fraser
    Director of Marketing
    OR-Live, Inc.
    860-953-2900 x 214