The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) has announced that University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UM UCMC) has been approved to offer elective angioplasty in its Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Slated to begin in the coming weeks, this program is highly beneficial for the local community and will allow many patients to receive the care they need close to home, right here in Harford County.
For certain people, heart disease treatment can be achieved without surgery. Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure where a catheter (a flexible plastic tube) with a small balloon at the tip is used to open up a blocked artery that supplies the heart muscle with blood. The balloon compresses any built up plaque in the artery allowing a wider channel for blood flow. A stent, which is a tiny tube made of wire mesh, is placed over the balloon; when the balloon is inflated during an angioplasty, the stent expands, locks in place, and holds the artery open. It is performed in our Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (or Cath Lab) by a specialized cardiologist and a team of specifically trained cardiovascular nurses and technologists.
For the last seven years, UM UCMC has been performing emergency angioplasty for patients experiencing an acute heart attack. Research has proven that current techniques and technology allow elective angioplasty to be performed safely in a community hospital setting and that onsite cardiac surgery capabilities are not required to provide a safe environment for patients that need this procedure.
“To be able to offer this elective procedure is a good development for our community,” said Michael Drossner, MD, medical director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at UM Upper Chesapeake Health. “The Upper Chesapeake Heart and Vascular Institute has been serving Harford and Cecil counties for years, offering the best interventional cardiology available. We are allowing people to get help sooner and stay close to home for their care.”
About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
In December of 2013, Upper Chesapeake Health became University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. It consists of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and the University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. The leading health care system and largest private employer in Harford County, UM Upper Chesapeake Health offers a broad range of health care services, technology and facilities to the residents of northeastern Maryland. Visit www.umuch.org/heart for more information.