New Angiography Suite Advances Vascular, Cardiac and Cancer Care

Vascular disease contributes to heart disease - the leading cause of death in the United States. Too often, people ignore the early signs and symptoms of the disease that could ultimately save their lives if detected early.

To help in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac and other vascular diseases, the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center opened a spacious, new Angiography Suite in early November that combines state-of-the-art imaging capabilities with the latest technology for an expanding array of minimally invasive procedures.

“With this suite, we can do more for our patients,” says Richard J. Wasley, MD, medical director of Imaging Services at Orange Coast Medical Center. “We can see the smallest details in the vasculature to determine the exact degree of disease, and perform the needed intervention, all in one encounter.”

Beyond the Heart

An angiogram is an X-ray test that uses special dyes and a camera to take pictures of the blood flow in an artery or vein. A thin plastic tube, or catheter, is placed directly in the groin or arm and gently threaded to the desired area.

“An angiogram is a great diagnostic tool not only for the heart but also the brain, head and neck, intestines and lungs, because blood vessels in all parts of the body can be affected,” says Amir Ronaghi, MD, lead interventional radiologist at Orange Coast Medical Center. “We are very pleased to have the most sophisticated tools available to produce the best possible patient outcomes for even the most complex cases.”

Skilled interventional radiologists at Orange Coast Medical Center also use the new Angiography Suite to inject anti-cancer drugs directly into a blood vessel feeding a cancerous tumor. This targeted therapy for liver and other cancers, known as chemoembolization, treats the tumor directly, without harming nearby tissue and without significant side effects.

“Orange Coast Medical Center has six fellowship-trained interventional radiologists on staff – that’s more than most hospitals in Orange County,” says Dr. Wasley. “It’s just one of the many reasons why patients can expect comprehensive care from an expert team of specialists when they are here.”

Suite Innovations

Orange Coast Medical Center’s Angiography Suite offers patients advanced care, including:

  • Rapid recoveries – Highly efficient, minimally invasive procedures allow most patients to return home the same day – with less pain.
  • Greater accuracy – High-resolution, three-dimensional images produce clearer views. Real-time images of complex anatomy are displayed in exquisite detail on a 50-inch flat screen monitor placed directly above the patient.
  • Integrated technologies – All pertinent medical record data can be accessed immediately. For example, a patient’s previous CAT scan images can be loaded into the suite’s workstation and overlapped with live images for comparison purposes.
  • Safer procedures – With higher speed and accuracy comes reduced radiation exposure, use of medical contrast and procedural time.

Find an interventional cardiologist or vascular interventional radiology specialist at Orange Coast Medical Center.