Last night, the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center hosted a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a completely renovated catheterization (cath) laboratory (lab). The new cath lab includes bi-plane imaging, providing cardiologists with the ability to see the heart from multiple perspectives, which is particularly helpful for procedures in children. In honor of the occasion, Jonathan Flores, field representative, presented a certificate of recognition on behalf of State Senator Ricardo Lara.

The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center includes a suite of five cardiac cath labs, which are examination rooms with diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualize the chambers and arteries of the heart to treat abnormalities. Through generous philanthropic donations, Long Beach Medical Center was able to completely renovate the cath lab.

“The MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute has a rich history of changing medicine through treadmill stress testing and pacemaker technology,” says Rex Winters, M.D., medical director, invasive cardiology, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “This renovation will help us drive the evolution of heart care in Long Beach and continue our legacy.”

Since Long Beach Medical Center shares a campus with MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, these renovations also will help patients of the Children’s Heart Institute at Miller Children’s & Women’s.

“The advanced technology and imaging capability of the new cath lab, will provide us the ability to better visualize the heart and create a 3-D image. This will greatly enhance our ability for interventions on children using balloons, stents and specialized catheters to correct congenital or acquired heart defects,” says Saar Danon, M.D., medical director, pediatric cardiology and congenital cardiac catheterization, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “The image we are able to produce will allow us to print a 3-D version of the heart, so we can determine the best treatment option for each individual child.”

Long Beach Medical Center has revolutionized cardiac care by being the first to establish a coronary care unit in Southern California and one of the first in the area to implant an artificial heart valve. With the renovations of the cath labs, Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s continue to be regional leaders in cardiac care.