Providence Medical Group-Cardiology accomplishes clinical first

July 13, 2012
Providence Medford Medical Center performs its first atrial septal defect closure

In July, Providence Medford Medical Center made history in its hospital by completing its first successful atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. Christopher Cannon, M.D., of Providence Medical Group-Cardiology, and his team repaired an ASD – a hole between the left and right atria of the heart that occurs when part of the atrial septum does not form properly – in a patient who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension. While this condition was present since birth, the patient began experiencing severe symptoms later in life. She suffered from an enlarged heart, pressure in the lungs and shortness of breath. The repair is expected to relieve these symptoms.

Treatment required cardiac catheterization to permanently seal the ASD. In this case, Dr. Cannon used a catheter to guide the placement of the ASD device. The device will remain in the heart permanently to stop the abnormal flow of blood between the two atria chambers of the heart. Within a few days, the patient’s own tissue began to grow over the device. By 3 to 6 months, the device will be completely covered by heart tissue and at that point becomes a part of the wall of the patient’s heart. The patient will not be able to feel the device.

“While these cases are not common, understanding and being able to treat them is important,” says Dr. Cannon. “Technology has advanced to the point where we are often able to close these defects without open heart surgery. Our goal is to improve symptoms and quality of life for these patients.”

Atrial septal defects account for about 7 percent of all congenital heart defects, making them the third most common type. In addition, ASDs are the most common congenital defect in adults and are more common among women than men. When there is an ASD, blood from the left and right sides mix, and the heart generally does not work at its most efficient level. People with this condition may not experience any symptoms. This condition is not usually treated unless other heart problems or complications occur.

Dr. Cannon is board certified in interventional cardiology and nuclear cardiology, and he has had experience performing this procedure before joining Providence. He specializes in clinical cardiology, interventional cardiology, cardiac catheterization including radial access, nuclear cardiology and coronary CT angiography. After earning a medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., Dr. Cannon completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He completed fellowships in cardiology and interventional cardiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
New location for Providence Medical Group-Cardiology

Providence Medical Group-Cardiology has moved to new larger space to serve your patients better. The new address is 1698 E. McAndrews Road, Medford, OR 97504. The clinic phone number remains 541-732-7850.

Our cardiologists and vascular surgeons provide a full range of diagnostic, treatment and disease management services. As part of the nationally renowned Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, we also give our patients access to complete cardiac surgical services.

New clinic amenities include:

• Larger clinic with more patient rooms
• A new pacemaker suite
• Additional support staff for timely appointments

The new pacemaker suite provides complete pacemaker and defibrillator analysis for patients with implanted cardiac devices. Our cardiologists have the ability to assess appropriate function, test generator and lead integrity, extract diagnostic information, assess battery status, and determine elective replacement time. Any changes that are necessary for the operation of a patient’s pacemaker or defibrillator can be programmed into the device at that time. Information can be printed in order to devise a collaborative plan of care with you and your patient, in order to optimize the patient's health and well-being.

In the new pacemaker suite, our cardiologists provide an array of electrophysiology services including:

• Arrhythmia evaluation
• Event recording
• Holter monitoring
• Pacemaker implantation and monitoring
• Defibrillator monitoring