Doctors performing heart surgery in the operating room. MCR/Piron Guillaume/File Photo

KRMC Will Discontinue Open-Heart Surgery

Doctors performing heart surgery in the operating room. MCR/Piron Guillaume/File Photo

KINGMAN − Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) announced that it will no longer perform open-heart procedures, effective the end of June.

Other advanced interventional heart procedures and thoracic (lung) procedures performed by cardiologists and thoracic surgeons will continue for KRMC patients.

In July 2009, KRMC received licensure from the State of Arizona to provide open-heart procedures. Over the years, it has taken significant hospital resources to maintain the program’s viability— while serving only a relatively small number of people.

“We were eager to offer this advanced capability to our community, so the decision to discontinue was extremely difficult. However, it just isn’t sustainable at this time,” said KRMC CEO Brian Turney.

In determining whether to continue performing open-heart procedures, hospital officials reviewed multiple factors, including patient volumes, the complexity of patient conditions, clinical performance and financial operations.  

Additionally, KRMC officials considered emerging trends in the healthcare industry. New medical advances that involve less-invasive surgical procedures are starting to impact the demand for open-heart surgery. However, at this time, these newer procedures are highly-sophisticated and require the expertise of specially-trained physicians. 

“We came to the realization that to produce the results our patients deserve, even more human and financial resources were needed for the program. This, in turn, would jeopardize necessary investment in other important medical service lines that can ultimately benefit more people,” Turney said.

He added that hospital officials will “re-examine the service in the future to evaluate if changes in community demographics or industry trends paint a different picture.”

In the meantime, local patients who require open-heart procedures will be referred to appropriate providers in the region depending on their individual clinical needs. Heart patients are urged to talk with their cardiologist to evaluate their options.