LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - There is a nationwide trend in moving certain elective medical procedures outside of a hospital setting and into an outpatient clinic. A newly opened cardiovascular outpatient clinic in Lake Charles is connecting highly specialized heart doctors with non-emergency patients.
Inside the Cardiovascular Outpatient Center of Southwest Louisiana, interventional cardiologist Dr. Corey Foster says patients with elective low-risk coronary interventions are treated in a stand alone clinic.
"We do perform all of our diagnostic and interventional procedures here in this room," said Dr. Foster.
The outpatient cath lab opened in August, specifically to cater to non-emergency heart patients.
"Coronary artery interventions, both arterial and venous peripheral vascular interventions and heart rhythm management, including pacemaker, defibrillator implants," said Dr. Foster.
The patient relationship experience in the outpatient setting is one of the biggest advantages Dr. Foster sees, along with being able to offer high quality care at a lower cost and a faster pace.
"Because we're not part of a hospital, patients aren't exposed to the wait times associated with triage and emergency care," he said.
While many diagnostic and interventional procedures can be performed at the center, it is not for everyone.
"Patients that are having a myocardial infarction or so called acute coronary syndrome or patients that are experiencing limb or life-threatening peripheral vascular disease, we still reserve those cases for the hospital setting," said Dr. Foster.
74-year-old Cliff Babin had been showing some signs of heart failure. He was referred to the outpatient cath lab for a routine cardiac catheterization to see if there was a bigger problem.
"I came in. They took me back here and I was here four hours, then that was it," said Babin. "Excellent. These people are very, very professional."
Babin's results came back clear, giving him peace of mind.
It is that kind of quick result that Dr. Foster says leads to more patient satisfaction.
Patients will follow up at the outpatient center for a routine post-procedure appointment. They will then continue to meet with their referring physician.
Cardiovascular Outpatient Center of Southwest Louisiana is located at 401 Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive, across from Drew Park.
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