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Treatment Options: Cardiac Cath Lab takes care of more than hearts

Treatment Options: Cardiac Cath Lab takes care of more than hearts

The cardiac catheterization laboratory (Cath Lab) at Campbell County Memorial Hospital is a special room with state-of-the-art X-ray equipment and computers that allow doctors and staff to do amazing things. While used primarily for heart procedures, the Cath Lab can be used for many other procedures that involve blood vessels, offering treatment for a number of problems involving veins and arteries.

A multidisciplinary team with Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Sairav Shah and General Surgeon Dr. Jake Rinker allow for expanded treatment options for complex disease processes. Dr. Shah and Dr. Rinker have been working together for over a year, and believe that their collaboration will provide the community and surrounding areas with treatments that were previously not available.

Cardiologist Dr. Sairav Shah Dr. Shah has been performing these procedures since the Cath Lab opened in 2014. He is Board Certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine, and has completed Fellowship training in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology. He practices at Campbell County Medical Group Cardiology with Dr. Nicholas J. Stamato.

General Surgeon Dr. Jake RinkerDr. Rinker has a special interest in vascular (involving the blood vessels) surgery, having trained while in residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. A native of Recluse, Wyoming, Dr. Rinker returned to Campbell County with his wife Erica, a family practice physician, in 2016. Dr. Rinker is in practice at High Plains Surgical Associates with colleague Dr. Sara Hartsaw.

“It’s much more attractive for these patients to do this in Gillette”, said Dr. Rinker. “They may not otherwise seek treatment if it means traveling out of town.”

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Peripheral Vascular Disease or “PVD” is very similar to CAD (Coronary Artery Disease) where the arteries become narrowed and blood flow can become limited. In PVD this is often seen in the legs, causing cramping in the leg muscles with walking and may lead to ulcers or even the loss of part of the leg if blood flow is blocked. PVD is caused by smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. To treat PVD doctors may do non-invasive tests first. If these tests suggest PVD, an angiogram may be performed either by CT scan or using special invasive catheters in the Cath Lab. If a blockage is confirmed, sometimes balloons or stents may be placed to open the artery.

Sometimes the arteries to the kidneys may become narrowed and cause high blood pressure that does not respond to medication. In that case a stent can open the kidney artery and often lower blood pressure.

Dr. Rinker also performs dialysis-related procedures and procedures for blood clots in the Cath Lab.

Fistulas for new dialysis patients

A fistula permits easier withdrawal of blood for hemodialysis. Dialysis patients often require regular procedures to keep their fistulas open and properly functioning. Patients had to leave Gillette for these procedures prior to Dr. Rinker’s arrival.

DVT (deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots)

DVT is a serious condition that can cause chronic problems such as lack of mobility and damage to the valves in the veins if left untreated. Symptoms include pain and swelling in one leg, and many patients find out they have DVT from a visit to the Emergency Department. DVT has traditionally been treated with blood thinning medications but now a procedure can be done in the Cath Lab to remove the clot.

Learn more about Dr. Shah and Dr. Rinker at www.cchwyo.org/findadoc.