Dr. Wissam Derian (left) and Dr. Adam Rafi are pictured here in the cardiac cath lab at the QMG Surgery Center.

On Dec 7, 2021, Quincy Medical Group made history. In a first for the state of Illinois, Quincy Medical Group physicians performed the first cardiac catheterization (or cardiac cath) in a freestanding ambulatory surgery center. The history-making procedure took place at the QMG Surgery Center.

Cardiac catheterization (or cardiac cath) is a procedure performed to detect blockages in coronary arteries.  Having the procedure performed at an ambulatory surgery center is a new concept locally.

The first case was completed by Wissam Derian, MD, a board-certified cardiologist at QMG. Dr. Derian led the QMG Cardiac Cath team in performing a left heart catheterization from a right radial artery approach. The procedure was completed in less than one hour, and the patient was able to return to the comfort of their home within just a few hours.

“When we began to talk about the possibilities of the QMG Surgery Center, we wanted to look at ways we could transform care for our patients to provide them the best outcomes,” said Dr. Derian. “Having the ability to perform the cardiac cath procedure in an outpatient setting means local patients are experiencing the latest advancements in cardiac medicine in a safe and cost-effective environment.”

Just two days after making history, Dr. Derian’s colleague, Adam Rafi, MD, board-certified interventional cardiologist, at QMG did it again. Leading the team in the first percutaneous coronary intervention (or PCI) procedure, Dr. Rafi carefully guided and deployed a stent into position, successfully returning blood flow to the anterior portion of the patient’s heart. A special closure device was used to seal the right femoral artery at the end of the case. This allowed for faster recovery and the patient to return home safely the same day.

Dr. Rafi shared, “This is a huge step toward changing the landscape and future of cardiac care for our local patients and families while providing high quality, affordable healthcare.”

The outpatient setting provides a safe and cost-efficient option for the patient, and is well established in the United States and throughout the world

“Cardiac cath has been done in outpatient centers for some time. The technology has improved and has become very safe to do as an outpatient procedure,” said Dr. Rafi. “The risks, in terms of the procedure, are the same, whether performed in a hospital setting or surgical center setting, and those risks are relatively low.”

In the past, a cardiac cath required a patient to spend hours in bed or even for an overnight hospital stay, but that’s no longer the case. This new option allows local patients to go home the same day and rest in the comfort of their own homes.

“In about 90 percent of the cases, we have begun using access in the wrist instead of the groin area. This reduces the risk of complications and the length of stay for the patient,” Dr. Derian said. “So basically for a diagnostic heart cardiac catheterization, patients can be home two to three hours after the procedure without lying flat or any worry about major complications.”

Dr. Derian and Dr. Rafi know this is just the beginning to transforming healthcare for the community.

Dr. Derian shared, “The future of cardiac medicine is being made right here in Quincy.”

For more information on the QMG Cardiology team and services, visit quincymedgroup.com/heart.