CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills Offers First-of-Its-Kind Treatment for Heart Disease

May 13, 2021

San Antonio, TX – CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills has announced a new treatment option for patients with severely calcified coronary artery disease living in San Antonio. The new technology is a novel application of lithotripsy, an approach that uses sonic pressure waves to safely break up kidney stones. It is now available to treat problematic calcium in the coronary arteries that can reduce blood flow in the heart.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.1 Each year, more than 600,000 people in the United States die of heart disease. As people with heart disease, specifically coronary artery disease, grow older and their disease progresses, plaque in the arteries evolves into calcium deposits, which can narrow the artery. Physicians often use stents to open an artery, and of the approximately one million patients that undergo a stent procedure each year, 30 percent have problematic calcium that increases their risk for adverse events.2

Calcium makes the artery rigid and more difficult to reopen with conventional treatments, including balloons, which attempt to crack the calcium when inflated to high pressure, and atherectomy, which drills through the calcium to open the artery.3  While atherectomy has been available for several decades, its use remains low, as it can result in complications for patients who are undergoing stent procedures.3 The new shockwave technology, also known as intravascular lithotripsy or IVL, allows physicians to fracture the problematic calcium - using sonic pressure waves - so that the artery can be safely expanded, and blood flow is restored with the placement of a stent and without unnecessary complications.3

“The cardiology team at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills is steadfast in our commitment to give our patients access to the latest cardiovascular innovations to treat heart disease,” said Jorge Magallon, MD, Cardiologist, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills. “It is exciting to be starting a new chapter in the treatment of heart disease in some of our most complex patient cases.”

Tzy-Shiuan Bruce Kuo, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, added, “After using the same tools for the last 30 years, it is exciting to introduce an advanced technology tool – especially one that improves the safety of the procedure for the benefit of the South Texas community.”

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills provides a variety of services for cardiac care. In addition, the hospital is an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) through the American College of Cardiology Accreditation Services. Since more than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain, Chest Pain Center accreditation ensures a hospital meets or exceeds quality-of-care measures based on improving the process for the care of the patient with acute coronary syndrome.

For important safety information regarding this new treatment, please visit


  2. Généreux P, et al. JACC 2014; 63(18);1845-54
  3. Hill J., Kereiakes D., et al. IVL for Severely Calcified Coronary Artery Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020 Dec, 76 (22) 2635–2646.