A new electrophysiology lab at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

A new electrophysiology lab at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. Credit: Northwell Health

Northwell Health is opening a new cardiac catheterization lab and electrophysiology lab at Southside Hospital as part of an expansion of its cardiology services.

The new additions give the Bay Shore hospital three cardiac catheterization labs and two electrophysiology suites in total. Southside started performing cardiac surgeries in 2011.

A catheterization laboratory is an examination site where cardiac imaging and minimally invasive heart procedures are performed. Electrophysiology is the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders, such as arrhythmia.

Southside Hospital has been expanding its cardiology services. It performed 537 open-heart procedures in 2017, said Dr. Alan Hartman, senior vice president and executive director of cardiothoracic services at Northwell Health.

“That’s a high volume of cardiac cases in a relatively new program, and the complexity of the cases there keeps growing,” Hartman said. “Patients are being transferred there from all around Suffolk County, including points north and western parts of the county.”

New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health has expanded, or plans to expand, its cardiology services at some of its other Long Island hospitals as well. It opened a catheterization lab at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead last year, plans to open another at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson and is considering opening one at Plainview Hospital, Hartman said.

“Plainview is still in the decision-making process to see if there is a need,” Hartman said. “It comes down to the need for acute services. Literally every minute counts. It’s imperative you get to a catheterization lab within minutes” of needing care.

Northwell also serves Long Island residents with catheterization labs at Huntington Hospital, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park. It has 15 catheterization labs on Long Island.

Other health systems also have such labs on the Island. South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside has operated one for about 10 years, said Joe Calderone, a spokesman for the hospital.

“In addition to having the only trauma center on the south shore of Nassau County, we also operate an award-winning cath lab that is able to provide life-saving cardiovascular services for 900,000 residents along the southern tier of Nassau County,” Calderone said. “It’s often the difference of life and death for patients.”

NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, Flower Hill-based St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, and Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip also operate catheterization labs. St. Francis, St. Catherine and Good Samaritan are part of Catholic Health Services. Good Samaritan is expanding its cath lab, the health system said.

The Stony Brook University Heart Institute has four fully equipped catheterization labs, three at Stony Brook University Hospital and one at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, which opened in September last year. Stony Brook also began to offer select electrophysiology services to treat heart rhythm disorders, also known as arrhythmias, at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. 

Northwell Health is the state’s largest private employer with 66,000 employees. It operates 23 hospitals.

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