Lake Charles Memorial Hospital first in state to use new shockwave device on heart

Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 8:45 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Memorial Hospital is now the first in the state to utilize a new shockwave procedure to treat advanced heart disease.

The same procedure has been utilized by the hospital to treat blocked arteries in the legs, but recent FDA approval allows the same procedure to be applied to the heart. Interventional cardiologist Dr. Edward Bergen says the procedure is proving to be more effective at treating blocked arteries.

“It’s a specialty balloon we use to open up arteries in the legs and the heart, that emits a sonic wave that disrupts the calcium to break it up to allow us to expand the artery.”

Tackling the whole issue, he hopes it’ll reduce risks in the future.

“The current devices we have to treat heavily calcified vessels have limitations, and they only treat the inner layer of calcium. If you can imagine it like a drill bit, and they only treat the inner.”

With minimal risks and applicable to any age, he believes it can even potentially avoid bypass surgery in the future.

“More importantly is the long term results, and if you never completely expand an artery and put a stent in, your long-term results are going to be very poor. So, the upfront initial treatment is key, not just acutely, but also long-term.”

Dr. Bergen says they’re glad to be able to offer this treatment, especially since in the past half a decade he’s worked in Southwest Louisiana, he’s noticed high levels of calcium in the arteries.

“We have registry data for other programs that we have here to prove that against the rest of the nation, there is more calcified disease here.”

In the past month since the procedure has received FDA approval, Dr. Bergen says they’ve used this to treat patients, and it’s proven to have effective results.

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