Interventional cardiology emerges at Banner Good Samaritan
When interventional cardiologist, Nathan Laufer, MD, arrived at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in 1984, greeting him was a two-room cardiac catheterization lab that he described only as “sleepy.” Over the next three decades, Dr. Laufer and his colleagues at Banner Good Samaritan would build that sleepy cath lab into one of the most productive and effective interventional cardiology centers “west of the Mississippi.”
Interventional cardiology’s emergence and continued evolution has forever changed heart disease diagnosis and therapy. Instead of performing risky, invasive surgeries, doctors can now weave a thin catheter through essentially any part of the cardiovascular system to identify and treat problematic areas.
Blocked or damaged arteries, faulty valves, congenital heart defects – a slew of conditions that once required open-heart surgery, a week or more in the hospital and a lengthy recovery, can now be treated on an outpatient basis, and often with better outcomes.
“It’s rare for us to send a patient for bypass surgery anymore,” Dr. Laufer said.
He explains that the drastically falling mortality rate from heart attacks illustrates how far interventional cardiology has advanced. “It used to be that if someone died of a heart attack it was kind of accepted. Now, if someone comes into the hospital and dies of a heart attack, we want to know why, what happened, and what we did wrong, which is a whole different mindset.”
Rapidly evolving technologies and techniques have also allowed the doctors and staff at Banner Good Samaritan to respond more efficiently when there is a cardiac crisis.
“The time from when patients roll into the ER until they get a balloon or stent in their coronary artery should be no more than 90 minutes,” Dr. Laufer said.
Along with providing more cardiovascular care than any other Arizona hospital, Banner Good Samaritan has positioned itself at a leader in the advancement of interventional cardiology by hosting groundbreaking clinical trials, as well as in training the next generation of specialists through its Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program – an accredited program started and directed by Dr. Laufer. It’s no surprise that U.S.News & World Report has named Banner Good Samaritan one of America’s Best Hospitals for “Heart & Heart Surgery” for the past 11 years.