People who have a heart attack in the Greater Braselton area now have new, life-saving treatment close to home. Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton began offering percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) on February 1, and interventional cardiologists have already performed 16 PCI procedures.
PCI is performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory. It is a nonsurgical procedure that uses a catheter, or thin tube, to place a stent or balloon into a blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart.
“A heart attack happens when an artery to the heart becomes blocked, interrupting blood flow to the heart muscle and depriving it of oxygen,” said Ankit A. Patel, MD, FACC, FSCAI, interventional cardiologist and medical director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at NGMC Braselton. “Every minute the heart goes without oxygen, the damage gets worse – so it’s important that we perform PCI quickly to clear the blockage and restore blood flow.”
Modeled after the award-winning PCI program at NGMC Gainesville, the program at NGMC Braselton provides PCI procedures to patients with blocked arteries before a heart attack happens or in emergency situations. People who arrive in the Emergency Department (ED) at NGMC Braselton experiencing even the most severe type of heart attack, called a STEMI, can take comfort knowing NGMC boasts some of the fastest heart attack response times in the nation.
“Even before NGMC Braselton opened in 2015, we began laying the foundation for a wide range of heart and vascular services – enabling patients to receive advanced, state-of-the-art heart care without traveling to Gainesville or Atlanta,” said Anthony Williamson, president of NGMC Braselton. “By offering PCI, as well as the other electrophysiology and advanced heart failure treatments available here, we provide people in this community a higher level of heart care that is typically found only in larger cities or university health systems.”
People who need to connect with a cardiologist can learn more or schedule an appointment by calling The Heart Center of NGMC at 770-534-2020 or visiting heartngmc.org.
ABOUT NORTHEAST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER BRASELTON
Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton brings services modeled around the programs of excellence at NGMC Gainesville to the Greater Braselton community. These include advanced surgical and medical care, emergency services, heart and vascular services, labor and delivery services, orthopedics, cancer treatment and neurosciences.
Along with NGMC Gainesville, the two hospitals share 657 beds and a medical staff of more than 650 physicians representing more than 50 specialties. Both NGMC Gainesville and NGMC Braselton, in addition to NGMC Barrow, are part of Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS), a non-profit that cares for almost 1 million people in more than 18 counties, with a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. Learn more at nghs.com/braselton.
ABOUT THE HEART CENTER OF NORTHEAST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER
The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is the largest cardiology practice in the region, with more than 65 providers seeing patients at 14 locations: Blairsville, Braselton, Buford, Cumming, Clayton, Commerce, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Demorest, Gainesville, Hamilton Mill, Lavonia, Toccoa and Winder.
Our cardiologists make sure patients’ hearts stay healthy by treating routine and complex conditions, and they lead new ideas about prevention and treatment through clinical research and trials. They also form the core of the cardiac care team at Northeast Georgia Medical Center that has hospital campuses in Braselton, Gainesville and Barrow County. Learn more at www.heartngmc.org.