Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford has announced the launch of Rutherford County's first rotational atherectomy program. Implemented by Dr. Hady Lichaa of Ascension Saint Thomas Heart, the new program enables more Rutherford County patients with narrowed heart arteries to be treated close to home rather than being transferred to Davidson County.
In this interventional cardiology procedure, Dr. Lichaa uses a diamond-tipped drill that rotates 160,000 times per minute to gently "sand down" hard arterial plaque. This technique effectively "softens" plaque buildup before the placement of stents. When atherectomy is applied to the appropriate type of hard plaque, it improves the outcomes of a stent by allowing it to adequately expand up to the actual size of the heart artery being treated. Patients with kidney problems, Type 2 Diabetes, or other risk factors for hard plaque deposits are among those who may benefit from atherectomy before stent placement.
Dr. Lichaa travels between Ascension Saint Thomas Midtown, West, and Rutherford hospitals and has been performing this procedure in Davidson County. He says: "I am so proud of our cardiac cath lab team for their hard work, talent, dedication and the way that they have embraced this effective technology. I am excited about the bright future of the cardiology program at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford and I am privileged to be a part of it." Dr. Lichaa (pictured below) has now performed this procedure at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford several times with much success since the program launched this month.
This new offering is an example of the Ascension Saint Thomas commitment to improving care accessibility and affordability.