The new Advanced Catheterization Laboratories at Valley View have revolutionized heart and vascular care in mid-sized and rural hospitals. Other hospitals across the nation will follow our lead.

Dr. Frank Laws and his team of physicians are performing procedures normally reserved for major academic medical centers. This opportunity exists because of advanced techniques, unparalleled expertise and technology so sophisticated that the manufacturer has made Valley View a North American demonstration site.

Philanthropic support from people like you made this exponential advancement in cardiovascular care possible, and your support was critical to fuel this engine of innovation. Dr. Laws and his team wish to thank everyone who made transformational gifts that will ensure this revolution in heart care continues and thrives.

A History of Innovation

The revolution started twelve years ago when, in 2006, donors to Valley View rallied around building our first cardiac catheterization laboratory – one of only a handful of labs in the United States pioneering primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) without onsite surgical backup. In 2015, Valley View was the eighth hospital in the nation to use Corindus® robotic cardiac technology, and remains one of only twenty-five nationwide. None of this would have been possible without generous philanthropists stepping forward with transformational gifts.

This history of innovation and excellence inspired people, and those people invested in Valley View. Siemens, for example, is a major international manufacturer of healthcare technology. Based on Dr. Laws’ vision and proven clinical success, Siemens chose to partner with Valley View in 2016 to create our bi-plane hybrid electrophysiology lab. The Siemens bi-plane hybrid lab is the second demonstration lab of its kind in the United States.

An Elite Team

A uniquely talented and visionary team of physicians at Valley View lead the Heart and Vascular Center.

New Pioneering Procedures

Valley View’s revolutionary approach to cardiac care is accelerating. In November 2017, the FDA approved a milestone procedure at Valley View: the Convergent Approach for persistent Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). Patients are coming to the Advanced Catheterization Laboratories from Texas, from Florida, and even from Spain for this new, minimally invasive procedure. Valley View’s Advanced Catheterization Laboratories are the first such facility in the entire United States to receive accreditation from the Food and Drug Administration to perform this procedure independent of a bona fide cardiovascular surgical program that provides bypass surgical backup. Now, prestigious medical societies such as the American College of Cardiology are inviting Valley View staff to share how our successes impact the quality of care at their national conference in March 2018.

A Deeper Dive: What is a biplane hybrid cath lab?

  • The new lab means that procedures that used to require several surgeries over a period of weeks (or even months) can now be performed simultaneously in a few hours. It will mean faster recovery times, lower risk of infection, less pain and decreased costs because everything can be accomplished in one, rather than multiple, procedures.

  • Commonly known as a ‘cath lab,’ this is a place in the hospital where doctors insert special tubes (called catheters) into a large blood vessel in a patient. Once inside, a doctor can navigate the catheter all the way along a blood vessel to the patient’s heart. Once near the heart, catheters can facilitate all kinds of duties, such as inflating a tiny balloon to widen a narrow blood vessel (called angioplasty) or placing a wire mesh tube (called a stent) to keep a vessel open.

    Cath labs are especially valuable because they allow for ‘minimally invasive surgery.’ Instead of opening up a patient’s chest to take a look at the heart (called ‘open surgery’), the catheter needs only a tiny insertion hole near a major blood vessel.  Recovery from open surgery takes weeks; recovery from catheter surgery (called ‘interventional surgery’) takes only a few days. There is also less pain for the patient and a lower risk of post-operative infection. Valley View opened its first cath lab in 2007.

  • Cath labs rely on what are called ‘image-guided’ procedures. Because the doctor cannot actually see where the catheter is, and where it is going, he needs technology to help him see. This is why the cath lab uses an extremely complex X-ray ‘camera’ that sits right alongside the patient to guide the doctor via a monitor in real time. The X-ray camera is mounted on a large, maneuverable, semi-circular arm that can rotate all around a patient to provide optimal viewing of the heart. If the camera is moved all the way around a patient over 360 degrees in a single plane, computers can even create a 3D image for the doctor to work with. The better the camera, the more precise the surgery can be.  Most cath labs, including Valley View’s current lab, have this type of ‘single plane’ imaging technology.

    In a biplane cath lab there are two cameras. By placing the cameras at just the right angles, the lab can generate real-time, full-motion 3D images of the heart. These allow for much faster imaging (up to 50% faster) which results in faster procedures and greater precision. Also, faster imaging time means much lower doses of radiation from the X-rays – a constant concern for patients, doctors and nurses.

  • A hybrid cath lab is the marriage of a cath lab with a traditional operating room. It combines the superb imaging technology of the cath lab with the sterile work space and technology of an operating room. This allows doctors to perform extremely complex procedures that require both open surgery and interventional (catheter-based) procedures.

Thank you to everyone who helped us bring this state-of-the-art care to our valley. Although official fundraising for Heart Care has ended, there are still other ways to give.

For more information or to discuss how you can get involved email:

Valley View Foundation | PO Box 1970 | Glenwood Springs, CO 81602 | 970.384.6620