Physicians collaborate on new procedure

August 15, 2006
Physicians in multiple specialties collaborated last month on a cardiac procedure never before offered at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, expanding the list of procedures now available to patients in their home community.

Dr. Lance Lewis, an interventional cardiologist, and Dr. Brian Brodwater, an interventional radiologist, worked together on a Coil Embolization procedure on July 21 in the cardiac catheterization lab at NHRMC. The procedure was done to close off abnormal blood flow, allowing blood to more effectively travel to the heart muscle.

The procedure went well and the patient went home the following day. Typically, these procedures are performed about three hours away, but this patient asked if it could be done in the community where he lives. Drs. Lewis and Brodwater are trained in specialty areas that allow them to perform the procedure.

Dr. Lewis said the collaboration with interventional radiology will allow for complex cardiac procedures to take place in Wilmington.

“This will allow patients to stay close to their families and home,” he said. “We can take good care of these folks without them having to go to a university center.”

With a Coil Embolization, a catheter with a metal coil is inserted into a blood vessel. Once positioned, the coil is released, blocking the flow of blood. A clot forms, and eventually a scar creates a permanent seal.

This procedure is often used for patients who have had bypass surgery and have leftover vessels that need to be blocked. Other common uses are to stop bleeding in an aneurysm or to stop intestinal bleeding.

Dr. Lewis said he and Dr. Brodwater are considering future cases.

“The multi-disciplinary approach will allow us to do more complex procedures,” he said.

New Hanover Regional has three cardiac catheterization labs and two electrophysiology labs. Procedures are performed by 25 board-certified invasive cardiologists who practice in the region.

Some 9,500 catheterization procedures and 2,000 electrophysiology tests will be performed this fiscal year. The medical center is in the process of adding two cardiac catheterization labs.

For more information or a physician referral, call VitaLine at 815.5188.