UI Heart and Vascular Center unveils new labs

"We think we can provide really new patient care that can help everyone in the region and everyone in Iowa," said Dr. Phillip Horwitz.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:37 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWQC) - The University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center is getting a new look.

“It’s been about a three-year project, so we’ve had some phases of being in a new space, old space, and constraining down. Now, we are opening to full expansion,” said Leslie Johnston, a nurse manager in the University of Iowa’s Adult Invasive Cardiovascular Procedure Lab.

Two new procedure labs have been added, and existing labs have been updated.

“Being able to offer this to more people is really exciting for us, and being able to move into this high-tech, brand-new space is exciting and it’s going to make our procedures more efficient,” said Dr. Phillip Horwitz, director of the University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center.

The labs are larger in size, and the UV lighting in the room will help reduce the amount of bacteria.

“We’re able to treat patients safely with plenty of space around them, and the ability to integrate this new technology into our computer systems and our imaging systems,” Horwitz said.

The technology inside will also reduce a patient’s radiation exposure.

“These newest generation x-ray systems will use a lot less x-ray and have a lot better images than our old systems,” Horwitz said.

“Patients can get x-ray injuries on their skin. It can cause burns and sores if they have a lot of radiation in one spot at the same time, and some of our procedures can last between two to six hours,” Johnston said.

It’s an effort to make access easier to Iowa’s only comprehensive center for advanced cardiac care.

“The kinds of things that traditionally needed to be with open-heart surgery are often being able to be treated with catheter-based procedures and in areas like this. There is a huge growth in procedures to treat heart arteries, to treat rhythm disturbances of the heart,” Horwitz said. “We think we can provide really new patient care that can help everyone in the region and everyone in Iowa.”

The new labs are set to officially open to patients on Jan. 24.