Kingsport Times News Monday, August 31, 2015

Wellmont cardiologists to operate as physicians watch via satellite

June 6th, 2012 10:24 pm by staff report

KINGSPORT — Dr. Chris Metzger, who directs the carotid artery stenting program at Holston Valley Medical Center, and his partner, Dr. Rahul Sakhuja, will share their expertise Thursday with their colleagues across the country via satellite to New Orleans.

For the third consecutive year, Metzger will perform procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab at Holston Valley as training for an audience of thousands of physicians watching at New Cardiovascular Horizons, the nation’s largest medical meeting on peripheral artery disease. A moderator and panelists will also watch him and Sakhuja, who recently joined the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, work live this afternoon and discuss the cases with them.

Metzger and Sakhuja will perform two complex stenting procedures — one to open complex blockages in a patient’s leg in an attempt to save the limb, and another to open the carotid artery to a patient’s brain to prevent strokes.

Earlier in the day, the two physicians will be taped performing these types of procedures for use in Metzger’s educational lectures and as training for other physicians who use the same type of stents.

“This is a tremendous honor for Dr. Metzger to perform procedures again in front of his peers,” said Dr. Jerry Blackwell, the heart institute’s president. “It is reflective of the high-quality cardiovascular care he delivers every day and shows how other extraordinary physicians use the heart institute as a benchmark nationally for superior care.

“My colleagues and I at the heart institute have watched Dr. Metzger perform these procedures for years with utmost skill and innovation and are proud he will be sharing his best practices with physicians he respects so much. It is also marvelous to have Dr. Sakhuja join Dr. Metzger to demonstrate how our program continues to grow and evolve.”

Metzger has performed as many or more carotid artery stents than anyone else in the country during the past five years. In the fall, CareChex, a national ratings agency, selected Holston Valley’s carotid artery stenting program as the best in the nation.

Metzger is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.

Sakhuja, who joined the heart institute in the fall after training with Metzger, is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, general vascular medicine and endovascular intervention.

The 13th annual conference began Wednesday and runs through Saturday. The conference’s Web site,, says the event’s goal is to focus on a team approach to complete cardiovascular care in patients who have peripheral artery disease and critical limb ischemia.

For more information about the heart institute visit

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