New service will provide rapid and comprehensive care to hundreds of heart patients every year for life-threatening emergencies and scheduled cardiac procedures. Image courtesy of Mount Sinai Health System
July 13, 2023 — Mount Sinai Queens announced the opening of a new cardiac catheterization lab that will provide rapid and comprehensive care to hundreds of heart patients every year for life-threatening emergencies and scheduled cardiac procedures. The first cardiac catheterization lab in Astoria, it will transform treatment for patients in the growing communities of western Queens by vastly improving access to cardiac care in the borough and beyond.
Atul Kukar, DO, has been named the Director of the Mount Sinai Queens Catheterization Lab and leads a team of 14 specialists including interventional cardiologists, nurses, and technicians.
“Our team is thrilled that Mount Sinai Queens will now be a destination for world class cardiac care, by offering the advanced cardiac services of elective and emergency coronary intervention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” explains Dr. Kukar.
A catheterization lab or “cath lab” is critical for treating heart attack patients whose artery suddenly becomes blocked, leading to loss of blood flow in the heart muscle. They require an urgent, minimally invasive stenting procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) that is performed in the cath lab. The stent serves as a scaffold to open the blocked artery and restores blood flow to preserve heart muscle function; otherwise, the heart may be permanently damaged. The life-saving and usually painless stenting procedure offers a quick recovery and return home, and improves a patient’s quality of life.
Before this catheterization lab opened, Mount Sinai Queens transferred hundreds of heart attack patients yearly from its Emergency Department to the cath lab at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan for treatment. Now these emergency patients will get expedited care from a specialized team onsite in western Queens.
The Mount Sinai Queens Catheterization Laboratory also provides a variety of elective procedures for hundreds of additional heart patients. These include stenting for severely blocked coronary arteries that cause chest pain or shortness of breath; catheterizations to measure function in heart failure patients to better manage their symptoms; and implanting pacemakers and defibrillators in patients with abnormal heart rhythms.
“Achieving the quality of cardiac care offered at the world-renowned Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan is now possible in the borough of Queens. This is a great demonstration of our institutions’ commitment to serving the most diverse parts of our New York City population,” says George Dangas, MD, PhD, Chief of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Queens. “Expanding the Cardiology Division at Mount Sinai Queens to include a full service catheterization laboratory shows how well we have bounced back from the pandemic that hit the borough of Queens incredibly hard, and we are proud of this new achievement.”
Full integration with The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan assures that heart patients requiring more serious/invasive cardiovascular procedures, including open heart surgery and aortic valve procedures, will continue to get the most advanced cardiac care after initial evaluation and treatment at Mount Sinai Queens.
“We are so proud of the innovative spirit of the cardiac team at Mount Sinai Queens. We celebrate their dedication to the community, saving lives every day,” says David Reich, MD, President of The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens.
“This is another example of Mount Sinai Queens treating the local community in their own backyard, making it a destination for high-quality care,” adds Cameron R. Hernandez, MD, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Mount Sinai Queens. “The Catheterization Lab is a great addition to the cardiac services that Mount Sinai Queens provides. Cardiac care will be further enhanced at the end of this year with the opening of a new Mount Sinai Health System Cardiovascular Institute at Mount Sinai Queens.”
For more information: https://www.mountsinai.org/locations/msd-queens/services/heart/cath-lab