Moon Township, PA, (August 30, 2012)
– The Heritage Valley Heart & Vascular Center recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the carotid stent program. The establishment and growth of the program has added an effective and minimally invasive alternative to surgery for the prevention of stroke caused by carotid artery disease.
According to American Stroke Association, stroke is the number three cause of death in the United States behind cancer and heart disease. Additional facts about the disease are staggering:
- Someone dies from a stroke every three minutes.
- More than 4 million people in the country are living with the after effects of stroke.
- 40% of stroke victims experience moderate to severe impairments requiring special care.
- Four out of five families will be somehow affected by the consequences of stroke over the course of their lifetime.
- The total cost of stroke in the US is estimated to be over $43 billion per year..
The Heritage Valley Heart & Vascular Center is one of the regional leaders in treatment of carotid artery disease, which accounts for a large number of strokes. The Center’s overall program focuses on early detection, preventing the progression of disease by modification of risk factors, monitoring the progression of disease, and the treatment of severe disease.
The carotid stent program began in 2002 when the Heart & Vascular Center was granted an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) by the FDA for a total of 50 patients. The first patient in the IDE underwent successful carotid artery stenting by Richard Begg, MD, FACC and Jasvinder Sandhu, MD, FACC on July 16, 2002. Since then, the Heart & Vascular Center has participated in a number of nationally recognized carotid artery stenting trials and registries. In the most significant trial ever conducted, the CREST trial, the Heart & Vascular Center was the 10th largest enrolling site of 117 sites through Canada and the United States and the largest in the state of Pennsylvania. The results of the CREST (Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting) trial were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Wall Street Journal judged this paper to be the most significant medical paper of 2010. The Center’s physicians have co-authoured several aritcles appearing in major medical journals regarding the results of the CREST trial.
In 2006, Heritage Valley Heart & Vascular Center was also selected to be a teaching site for carotid artery stenting, bringing in physicians from all around the tri-state area for training. In addition, one of the Center’s physicians was selected as a faculty member for carotid artery stenting simulation training at VIVA (Vascular Interventional Advances), one of the largest medical conferences in the country. Brian Carey, MD, FACC, FSCAI who recently joined the carotid stent team, presented the results of the Heart & Vascular Center’s first 184 procedures at the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) meeting in 2011.
“As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we are proud of the role that we have played in developing this novel approach in the treatment of carotid artery disease,” said Dr. Begg. “The success and complication rates for the Heritage Valley Heart & Vascular Center compare favorably with those of larger university centers and we will continue to have a leading role in further development and refinement of carotid stenting.”
Located in eight locations around Southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, Heritage Valley’s Heart & Vascular Center offers comprehensive cardiac care including diagnostic and interventional cardiology, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, electrophysiology, VeinCare, vascular surgery, cardiac computed tomography (CT), peripheral vascular services and cardiac rehabilitation services.