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2021 Heart & Vascular Annual Report

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Electrophysiology (EP)

The cardiology program at the Rocky Mountain Heart Institute has developed a comprehensive cardiac electrophysiology program designed to treat all forms of heart rhythm disorders for patients living throughout the Denver metro area. Using a combination of state-of-theart technologies with the skills and expertise of an experienced care team, the electrophysiology program specializes in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (Afib), atrial flutter, slow heartbeat (bradycardia), accelerated heartbeat (tachycardia), irregular heart rhythm, and other forms of heart arrhythmia1.

EP consultations and treatment are available at all hospitals in the Denver area including Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, and Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton.

Electrophysiology (EP)

Convergent procedure for Afib

The Convergent Procedure, or Convergent Maze Procedure, is a hybrid intervention that combines minimally invasive heart surgery with EP ablation to treat patients with chronic Afib or for those with concurrent heart valve disease and Afib. The procedure uses a surgical method to block abnormal electrical signals while a catheter applies radiofrequency ablation to fill in gaps and confirm that irregular signals are being blocked.

After several years of providing the procedure, Dr. Allan Brants, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and Dr. Bo Finta, an electrophysiologist at Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge have become one of the most experienced Convergent procedure teams in the Rocky Mountain region.

Convergent procedure for Afib

WATCHMAN procedure

Since 2018, Saint Joseph Hospital has performed the WATCHMAN procedure, a one-time, catheter-based implant that provides non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients with a lifetime of stroke risk reduction without the need for long-term oral anticoagulant therapy.

The WATCHMAN implant is suitable for a broad range of patients at an increased risk of stroke that may or may not tolerate warfarin.

By the end of 2021, Saint Joseph Hospital had successfully implanted hundreds of WATCHMAN devices making it a top volume leader for the procedure in the Rocky Mountain West.

Watchman procedure

Advanced arrhythmia management

In addition to patient education, monitored exercise, medication management, and nutrition counseling to help manage heart rhythm disorders, the Rocky Mountain Heart Institute also provides advanced EP treatments that include electrical cardioversion as well as catheter ablation using radiofrequency and cryoablation.

The program is also experienced in implanting pacemakers and ICDs. Subsequently, if those devices should fail, cause infection, or occlude a vessel, the program also offers laser lead extraction at Lutheran Medical Center, which has shown higher success rates for the removal of infected or malfunctioning leads and fewer complications. Where traditional lead extraction may result in incomplete removal or damage to other areas of the heart, laser lead extraction uses cold lasers to help remove leads with virtually no risk of damaging surrounding tissue.

Advanced arrythmia management

2021 Heart & Vascular Annual Report for SCL Health, now Intermountain Healthcare.

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