Cardiovascular Institute of the South’s Ambulatory Surgery Center

The Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) continues to grow and make its services more readily available for the Bayou Region community and beyond.

CIS held the ceremonial groundbreaking for its new Ambulatory Surgery Center on Oct. 18.

“We’re excited; it’s taken quite some time to get to this point,” CIS Chief Operating Officer Joey Fontenot said. “We think this is going to be a great new service for patients with low acuity peripheral vascular disease, and we’re very pleased that it has finally started.”

CIS has been working on plans for the new facility, which is located at 4089 W. Park Avenue in Gray, for the last 8-10 months, Fontenot said.

The primary focus of the center will be peripheral vascular disease because there is a growing incidence of it in the region, Fontenot explained.

“…And as new technology continues to be developed, there are more and more applications for treating this disease in an outpatient setting,” he continued. “In an outpatient setting, we can control the costs better. We can meet patient’s expectations for their convenience better, and as high deductible insurance plans continue to become more and more present in our market, this represents an opportunity to help reduce some of the out-of-pocket costs for some patients.”

The upcoming facility will have two outpatient cath labs, two ultrasound rooms, the CIS medical laboratory, patient exam rooms and a recovery area.

State-of-the-art medical technology will be used in the center,  including lasers, multiple other devices to treat peripheral vascular disease and a highly sensitive vascular ultrasound system to help CIS medical staff identify small vessels.

“We’re actually looking at technology that’ll allow us to  use as smaller amounts of contrast media, and in some cases, no contrast media on patients,” Fontenot said, “which makes the procedure more comfortable and safer for our patients.”

Fontenot added that the institute is aiming to train cardiologists at the new surgery center from across the country and from international locations as well.

“In addition, several of our physicians — in particular Dr. Craig Walker — are very interested in training cardiologists in how to treat peripheral vascular disease because it is undertreated,” he said. “This will be a good opportunity for those cardiologists and cardiologists in training in the New Orleans and Mississippi markets to come down and get some hands-on training in the facility with experts that do a lot of peripheral vascular disease treatment.”

The Ambulatory Surgical Center should be operational by August 2020, Fontenot said.

The center in Gray isn’t the only thing currently in the works for CIS.

The organization is currently expanding its Thibodaux office, 1320 Martin Luther King Drive, as they have outgrown the facility. It also has just built an intensive cardiac rehab center in Lafayette; that center treats heart disease in an aggressive manner, including diet modification, cooking education and exercise training, Fontenot explained. CIS is also currently doubling the size of its Baton Rouge facility as that practice continues to expand.

“We recently bought a building on Highway 311 in Houma where we’ve moved our business services to.  Because again, we need more space as we continue to grow,” Fontenot added. “We have a lot of activity going on.”