Cardiovascular Procedures at Deaconess Hospital
Invasive Cardiology refers to a group of diagnostic or interventional services to assist in the diagnosis and or treatment of heart-related conditions. These procedures are performed by health care professionals in Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Our team includes cardiologists, registered nurses, special procedure radiology technicians, and patient care technicians.
Cardiac Catheterization (KATH-eh-ter-ih-ZA-shun) is a medical procedure used to:
Evaluate or confirm the presence of heart disease (such as coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or disease of the aorta).
Evaluate heart muscle function.
Determine the need for further treatment (such as an interventional procedure or bypass surgery)
A long, this, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arms, groin (upper thigh), or neck and threaded to your heart. Through the catheter, your doctor can do diagnostic tests and treatment on your heart.
For example, your doctor may put a special type of dye in the catheter. The dye will flow through your bloodstream to your heart. Then, your doctor will take x-ray images of your heart. The dye will make your coronary (heart) arteries visible on the pictures. This test is called coronary angiography (an-jee-OG-rah-fee).
The dye can show whether a waxy substance called plaque (plak) has built up inside your coronary arteries. Plaque can narrow or block the arteries and restrict blood flow to your heart.
The buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries is called coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease.
Doctors also can use ultrasound during cardiac catheterization to see blockages in the coronary arteries. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of the heart’s blood vessels.
Doctors may take samples of blood and heart muscle during cardiac catheterization or do minor heart surgery.
Cardiologists (heart specialists) usually do cardiac catheterization in a hospital. You’re awake during the procedure, and it causes little or no pain. However, you may feel some soreness in the blood vessel where the catheter was inserted.
Cardiac catheterization rarely causes serious complications.
A stent is a small mesh tube that’s used to treat narrow or weak arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart to other parts of your body.
A stent is placed in an artery as part of a procedure called angioplasty (AN-jee-oh-plastee). Angioplasty restores blood flow through narrow or blocked arteries. A stent helps support the inner wall of the artery in the months or years after angioplasty.
Doctors also may place stents in weak arteries to improve blood flow and help prevent the arteries from bursting.
Stents usually are made of metal mesh, but sometimes they’re made of fabric. Fabric stents, also called stent grafts, are used in larger arteries.
Some stents are coated with medicine that is slowly and continuously released into the artery. These stents are called drug-eluting stents. The medicine helps prevent the artery from becoming blocked again.
A pacemaker is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate. Pacemakers are implanted in people with AF who have a slow heart rate. The pacemaker has a pulse generator (which houses the battery and a tiny computer) and leads (wires) that send impulses from the pulse generator to the heart muscle, as well as sense the heart’s electrical activity.
Newer pacemakers have many sophisticated features designed to help with the management of arrhythmias and to optimize heart rate-related function as much as possible.
ICD Internal Cardiac Defibrillator
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a surgically inserted electronic device that constantly monitors your heart rate and rhythm. When it detects a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm, it delivers electrical energy to the heart muscle to help the heart to beat in a normal rhythm again.
BiV/Biventricular Cardiac Device
Leads are tiny wires implanted through a vein into the right ventricle and into the coronary sinus vein to pace or regulate the left ventricle. Usually (but not always), a lead is also implanted into the right atrium. This helps the heart beat in a more balanced way.
Traditional pacemakers are used to treat slow heart rhythms. Pacemakers regulate the right atrium and right ventricle to maintain a good heart rate and keep the atrium and ventricle working together. This is called AV synchrony. Biventricular pacemakers add a third lead to help the left ventricle have a normal contraction.
Biventricular pacemakers improve the symptoms of heart failure in about 50% of people that have been treated with medications but still have significant heart failure symptoms.
Electrophysiology Study (EPS)
An electrophysiology (EP) study is a test that evaluates the electrical activity within your heart. This test is used to help your doctor find out the cause of your rhythm disturbance and the best treatment for you. During the test, your doctor may safely reproduce your abnormal heart rhythm, and then give you medications to see which one controls it best.