Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute opens its doors to the n - Tucson News Now

Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute opens its doors to the nation

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

TUCSON, AZ (TNN) –A well-known name in medicine in southern Arizona aims to be the destination in the southwest for heart and vascular procedures.  Carondelet has spent $17 million and a year of construction on its new Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute. 

Heart surgery and vascular procedures send people like Janet Walkup looking for the best care possible.

"Knowing that you're in good hands is terribly important because your life depends on it," she said.

She needed a valve replacement, and her cardiologist led her to Dr. Derek von Haag.  Now he and his colleagues have more advanced tools for such work at the new Carondelet Heart and Vascular Institute, from three dimensional-imaging of the heart to the hybrid operating room that can host simple to complex procedures.

"This hybrid O-R is the only one of its kind in the nation and it allows us to do all kinds of combined procedures with different specialists such as cardiologists and vascular surgeons.  And really, the sky's the limit as far as future technology's coming now," said Dr. von Haag, who is the medical director for cardiothoracic surgery at CHVI.

"We've been able to combine the technologies into one room where we can do open-heart surgery, or we can do a completely minimally invasive technique that goes through just a needle puncture, or a hybrid procedure which combines both of those types of technology," said Dr. Scott Berman, medical director for vascular surgery at CHVI.

Having an OR that accommodates a variety of procedures cuts down on the time, risk and cost of moving patients or equipment from one room to another.  It also offers lighting and music for patient comfort, as well as privacy. Dr. von Haag said that these tools and the providers who've been here can offer the level of care that, up to now, has been associated with other hospitals many patients seek from around the country.

"We've all trained at those same places to get that experience and it's nice to have a facility where we can offer those same procedures to our patients without them having to travel across the country," Dr. von Haag said.

"It's fantastic that people can be right here, their families are here, and get the same work done in superior surroundings," Walkup said.

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