Harrison Memorial Hospital Offers First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment for Heart Disease

Harrison Memorial Hospital offers a new treatment option for patients with severely calcified coronary artery disease living in our communities. HMH is now using shockwaves to treat calcified coronary plaque. The new technology is a novel application of lithotripsy, 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. 

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. 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. 

“HMH is steadfast in our commitment to give our patients access to the latest cardiovascular innovations to treat heart disease,” said Dr. Stephen Toadvine, HMH Chief Executive Officer. “It is exciting to be starting a new chapter in the treatment of heart disease in some of our most complex patient cases.”

HMH offers a full-service line of cardiac procedures and diagnostic tests. HMH has a full-service interventional cardiac catheterization lab, complete with stents for cardiac patients and peripheral studies. In addition, HMH cardiologists perform procedures to implant pacemakers, defibrillators and biventricular defibrillators. HMH has two cardiologists on staff, Dr. Matthew Shotwell, who specializes in interventional cardiology, and Dr. B.K. Srivastava, who specializes in diagnostic cardiology.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shotwell or Dr. B.K, please call 859.235.3748 (Cynthiana). For more information on HMH Cardiac Services, please visit our website at www.harrisonmemhosp.com.