Gill Heart Institute: advanced medicine for cardiovascular care
The $25,000,000, 108,345-square-foot building at the Gill Heart Institute houses some of the most advanced cardiac technology in the nation.
$13,050,000 in new equipment has gone into the Gill facilities since its inception in 2003. The number of computers in the clinic has increased from seven in the previous space to 22 in the new clinic, enabling clinicians to obtain patient information more quickly.
On the first floor of the Gill Building you will find the cardiology clinic that provides these special procedures:
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure that evaluates the structure and function of the heart. The doctor uses a hand held wand that produces high-frequency sound waves to create a moving or still picture of the heart chambers, the thickness of the muscle wall, and the heart valves and major blood vessels. The resulting image is more detailed than an x-ray. A number of heart conditions that involve abnormal leakage or blockage of valves would be diagnosed this way.
The electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) graphically records the electrical activity of the heart as it contracts and rests. It can be used in the diagnosis of a number of heart conditions including valve disorders, arrhythmias, and heart attack. Depending on the way the electrical impulses flow through the heart, the test may indicate that a heart attack has occurred or confirm the diagnosis of heart disease.
The patient is attached to an ECG machine that monitors heart function and uses an exercise machine, usually a treadmill or stationary bike. The status of the patient will be recorded at rest for reference. Then the patient will perform a routine of exercise that is incrementally increased in difficulty until the patient cannot continue due to fatigue or heart symptoms become apparent. The stress test is useful chiefly in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, a condition that may not be apparent until the heart is pushed to a certain level.
The Holter monitor is a test that monitors a patient continuously during normal activity for a period of up to 24 hours. Many abnormal heart rhythms can occur intermittently and only under certain conditions such as stress. These abnormalities, or dysrhythmias, are difficult to diagnose from an EKG that only runs for a few minutes.
An event monitor is similar to a Holter monitor except it is worn for a longer period of time, weeks or months, but generally one month. Also, it usually only captures heart rhythms when the patient activates the device.
Large-field-of-view camera lab
Our new cameras contain state-of-the-art technology for peripheral vascular procedures, such as for the arteries leading to the legs, kidney and brain. With a larger field of view using the digital flat panel technology, our physicians are able to take detailed, more comprehensive images of the peripheral vascular system, which means more accurate treatment for our patients.
Philips Xres TM Technology
The Gill Institute is one of 10 hospitals in the United States and the only in Kentucky to have Philips Xres TM technology, an ultrasound image-processing technique. Xres TM uses a mathematical formula that performs millions of calculations per frame to enhance images of the heart and surrounding tissue. Subtle tissue patterns are revealed, while common ultrasound artifacts are virtually eliminated, giving the doctor a much clearer view of the patient's heart which provides a more accurate diagnosis.
Philips Integris Allura Flat Detector
Philips, the leader in digital displays, developed this flat panel equipment providing the highest resolution imaging capabilities. While the large-field-of-view camera expands the total coverage area that can be reviewed, the Philips Detector is sharper and provides exceptionally more detail than before. This increase in clarity helps doctors assess the patient more accurately.
The Gill Institute is the only cardiac catheterization laboratory in Kentucky with Philips StentBoost, a technology used to optimally place stents in the heart's arteries. A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open a blockage in an artery permanently to improve blood flow. Philips StentBoost produces an enhanced image of a stent so doctors can make a thorough check of stent expansion. This technology allows them to place stents more quickly and in fewer procedures, cutting-down costs.
This type of room is highly efficient for pediatric and complex procedures. A series of images is acquired while the C-arm performs a continuous rotation around the region of interest. With the biplane system you can image the patient from two angles simultaneously, thus reducing x-ray dose and potential risk to small children.