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French Hospital Medical Center Offers First-of-its-Kind Treatment for Heart Disease


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Nationally recognized cardiac hospital now using shockwaves to treat calcified coronary plaque 

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – April 4, 2022 – French Hospital Medical Center today announced a new treatment option for patients with severely calcified coronary artery disease living on the Central Coast. The new technology is an approach that uses sonic pressure waves to safely break up kidney stones. It’s now available to treat problematic calcium in the coronary arteries that can reduce blood flow in the heart. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Each year, more than 600,000 people in the United States die of heart disease. As people with heart disease, specifically coronary artery disease, grow older and their disease progresses, plaque in the arteries evolves into calcium deposits, which can narrow the artery. Physicians often use stents to open an artery, and of the approximately one million patients that undergo a stent procedure each year, 30 percent have problematic calcium that increases their risk for adverse events.1 

“The cardiology team at French Hospital is steadfast in our commitment to offer patients access to the latest cardiovascular innovations to treat heart disease,” says Thomas Vendegna, MD, Chief Medical Officer, French Hospital Medical Center. “It is exciting to be starting a new chapter in the treatment of heart disease in some of our most complex patient cases after using the same tools for the last 30 years – especially one that improves the safety of the procedure for the benefit of the Central Coast community.”

Calcium makes the artery rigid and more difficult to reopen with conventional treatments, including balloons, which attempt to crack the calcium when inflated to high pressure, and atherectomy, which drills through the calcium to open the artery.  While atherectomy has been available for several decades, its use remains low, as it can result in complications for patients who are undergoing stent procedures.2                                                       

The new shockwave technology, also known as intravascular lithotripsy or IVL, allows physicians to fracture the problematic calcium - using sonic pressure waves - so that the artery can be safely expanded, and blood flow is restored with the placement of a stent and without unnecessary complications. 2

For important safety information regarding this new treatment, please visit www.shockwavemedical.com/IFU.

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About French Hospital Medical Center

French Hospital Medical Center is a state-of-the-art, 112-bed acute care hospital located in San Luis Obispo, California. French’s Oppenheimer Family Center for Emergency Medicine is the area’s most advanced emergency services center. The modern facility is home to the Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center, is the county’s premier cardiac center, providing the latest cardiac and imaging technology, and the Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families. 

French Hospital Medical Center together with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, make up Dignity Health Central Coast, a network of hospitals, physicians, and outpatient services including physician offices, ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers, and a full service home health agency.  


1 Généreux P, et al. JACC 2014; 63(18);1845-54

2 Hill J., Kereiakes D., et al. IVL for Severely Calcified Coronary Artery Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Dec, 76 (22) 2635–2646. https://www.jacc.org/doi/full/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.09.603

 

Publish Date: 

Monday, April 04, 2022

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