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The NCH Advantage • Technology

Safer, more accurate and less invasive technology for cardiac procedures

At Northwest Community Hospital, we perform thousands of heart procedures each year. We treat people for everything from heart attack symptoms and heart valve symptoms to signs of congestive heart failure—and more. We are committed to advanced technology because it is not only more accurate, but also safer and more comfortable for you, the patient.

Computed tomography (CT) heart scanner

The first step in determining your risk for a heart attack is a non-invasive, 15-minute procedure called calcium scoring, also known as a CT heart scan. We take X-ray images of your heart and coronary arteries to find the location and extent of any calcified plaque, a marker of coronary artery disease.

You can schedule a calcium scoring test without a physician's order by calling Outpatient Scheduling at 847.618.3700.

Dual Source CT System

If your calcium scoring test shows a possible risk or you have known risk factors for heart disease, you may need to have a coronary CT angiogram (or CT scan) to look more closely for coronary disease. Our Dual Source CT scanner offers higher image resolution at faster speeds than most other single source CT scanners. We were the first hospital in the Northwest Suburbs to offer this breakthrough technology.

  • Greater anatomical detail for making diagnoses and treatment decisions without invasive procedures.
  • Less radiation exposure for patients.

Interventional cardiology

Using the latest cardiac technology, we have several non-surgical methods for opening blocked arteries.

  • Angioplasty—Inserting a balloon catheter into an artery to remove blockages.
  • Drug-eluting stents—Placing a drug-coated wire device, or stent, in a narrowed artery to keep it open.
  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)—Enables cardiologists to actually look inside your arteries to determine the degree of narrowing.
  • Fractional flow reserve—Technology to measure the degree of stenosis (blockage) and blood flow in a narrowed artery.
  • ASD/PFO closures—Closing or patching a hole in the wall between the chambers of your heart.

Cardio electrophysiology (EP) services

Electrophysiology specialists check the electrical activity and pathways of the heart to diagnose and repair abnormal heart rhythms. We make use of the latest technologies for the following procedures:

  • EP study—To localize the area of the heart’s conduction systems causing abnormal heath rhythms. The results determine the next steps: ablation, pacemaker, implantable defibrillator or drug therapy.
  • Complex ablation procedures—Our physicians use the latest minimally invasive technologies, including intracardiac echocardiography and 3-dimensional mapping, merged with CT images to treat a wide range of heart rhythm irregularities.
  • Latest cardiac devices—Each year our EP specialists implant hundreds of devices in patients who require cardiac monitoring or regulation. These include defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization devices, permanent pacemakers and implantable loop recorders.
  • Remote monitoring—Our Cardiac Device Clinic provides patients with follow-up care, both in clinic settings and through convenient remote monitoring.

da Vinci® Surgical System

NCH was the first hospital in the region to provide patients with the da Vinci Surgical System for assistance in complex surgeries. We are also one of the few hospitals in the area to offer open-heart surgery for select patients using this new technology.

Find out how NCH can help you get the best possible heart care. Find a cardiac specialist now, or call 847.618.4YOU (4968) for a free referral.

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Last Updated 1/22/2010