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Cutting-edge Cardiac Procedure Now Offered at Saint Michael's

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  • Written By: Saint Michael's Press Office
Cutting-edge Cardiac Procedure Now Offered at Saint Michael's

Dr. Muhammed Shittu, an interventional cardiology fellow, Dr. Hamid Shaaban, the chief medical officer, and Dr. Addi Suleiman, discuss a transradial cardiac catherterization.

Verna is an active 94-year old senior from Kearny who loves cooking, spending time with her two grandchildren and playing bingo at the township senior center.

A decade ago, she had two stents placed in the arteries in her heart, but otherwise, she’s been in good health.

She didn’t think much when she started experiencing discomfort in her abdominal area one day recently.

“I thought it was indigestion,” she said.

She went to see her physician, Dr. Edward Killilea in Kearny, whose experience told him that she needed to get to the hospital right away.

In the Emergency Department at Saint Michael’s Medical Center, doctors quickly diagnosed a heart attack and rushed her to the hospital’s catherization lab, where Dr. Addi Suleiman was waiting, ready to place two stents in her failing heart.

In emergency situations like Verna’s, cardiologists typically feed a long, thin tube into an artery in the groin area and push it through until it reaches the blocked artery in the heart, where a stent is placed to keep the artery open.

However, Dr. Suleiman used a cutting-edge procedure known as a transradial cardiac catheterization, in which the tube is fed through an artery in the arm. The procedure is routinely done for angiograms, in which a dye is injected into the arteries to reveal blockages, but rarely done in emergency situations, where a stent is required.

“There’s increasing evidence linking the transradial approach with survival benefit, positive hospital outcomes and shorter hospital stay, which is why it will play a significant role in the future of coronary care here in the United States,” said Dr. Hamid Shaaban, the chief medical officer at Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark.

A member of the Prime Healthcare network, Saint Michael’s has been a leading hospital for heart care for many years. It was the first hospital in New Jersey to perform open-heart surgery and cardiac angioplasty and it was ranked as high performing for treating heart failure by U.S. News and World Report its 2018 Best Hospitals Rankings.

Dr. Suleiman said the transradial approach for patients who just experienced a heart attack is an advanced procedure practiced in leading institutions, like Mount Sinai, New York Presbyterian and the Mayo Clinic, where it was developed.

“Very few hospitals in this area use this procedure in a critical situation such as in a fresh heart attack,” Dr. Suleiman said. “Saint Michael’s has the technologies and the skills to treat patients the same way patients are being treated at institutions at the cutting edge of medicine.”

Dr. Suleiman, who received his medical degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology Faculty of Medicine, learned the technique within the last year as a fellow in interventional cardiology at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“There’s a saying that the future belongs to those who prepare for it today. Here at Saint Michael’s, we believe that. Dr. Suleiman believes that too,” Dr. Shaaban said. “We are all thoroughly pleased and excited to be working with him. He is very eager to be a part of Saint Michael’s ongoing efforts to deliver the highest quality cardiac care.”

Dr. Suleiman said he wanted to master the procedure because of the benefits to the patient.

“This technique has been shown to be more effective and protective. The risk of bleeding and complication is higher when you use the groin as opposed to using the wrist,” he said. “Recovery is also faster.”

That was evident in the Cardiac Care Unit at Saint Michael’s. Just two days after receiving the life-saving procedure, Verna was counting the days before she could get out of the hospital.

“I don’t have any pain,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to the senior center.”

For more information about Saint Michael's Heart & Vascular Institute, click here.