In this medical video learn how a new imaging technology allows doctors to perform cardiac catheterizations quickly with more precision and less X-rays.
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Jennifer Matthews: It takes a lot to keep Jim Schutte down. The 62-year-old loves to stay active. But that all changed in an instant one day. Jim Schutte: I got that tingling, numbing feeling all the way down to my fingertips. Jennifer Matthews: Jim was having a heart attack. Jim Schutte: Almost instantly, it got worse and worse and worse and worse. Jennifer Matthews: Paramedics rushed him to the ER where doctors used new cardiac catheter imaging technology to get vivid pictures of the blocked artery. The technology allows doctors to clearly see if they've placed the stent that holds the artery open in the right spot. Dr. Donald Wayne: The issue is that if the stent -- it's a piece of metal -- is not fully expanded, the potential for blood clots to form is much greater. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Donald Wayne says he can see a clear difference with the stent boost technology. This picture shows an artery with the old imaging. This one with the new imaging. The enhanced image is essential because newer, medicated stents, have to fit just right. Dr. Donald Wayne: Having that stent fully open right at the side of the artery wall will enable that medicine to get into the wall of the artery. Jennifer Matthews: The technology can also take pictures of arteries in the legs. Important, because patients with blocked heart arteries often have blockages in their legs, too. Jim is happy to be back on his feet -- and back to his active lifestyle. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.