Cardiac Procedures

The following procedures are often used in the evaluation and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Consult your physician or heart care professional for more specific information.

Cardiac Procedures for Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Catheter Ablation
This procedure uses radio waves to silence an abnormal area in the heart electrical system, which is usually found during an electrophysiology study.

Permanent Pacemaker
A permanent pacemaker is inserted into the patient's heart and upper chest to provide a reliable heartbeat when the heart's own rhythm is too fast, too slow, or irregular. A permanent pacemaker is usually inserted while the patient is in the electrophysiology lab.

Internal Cardioverter Defibrillator
A defibrillator is inserted into the patient's heart and chest to send out a small amount of electricity when needed to jolt heart rhythm back to normal.


Cardiac Procedures for Heart Disease

Coronary Angioplasty
With this procedure, a catheter is used to create a bigger opening in the vessel to increase blood flow. Although angioplasty is performed in other blood vessels, Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) refers to angioplasty in the coronary arteries to permit more blood flow into the heart. There are several types of PTCA procedures, including:

  • balloon angioplasty
  • atherectomy
  • laser angioplasty
  • coronary artery stent
  • rotoblator
  • TEC catheter

Open Heart Surgery
Open-heart surgery is performed on the heart while the bloodstream is diverted through a heart-lung machine. The surgery includes heart valve replacements, coronary artery graft (CABG) surgeries, heart transplants and "other open-heart procedures."
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts (CABG)
A surgical procedure in which small portions of veins or arteries are taken from one part of the body and transplanted into the heart to bypass clogged coronary arteries in the heart.
Valve Replacement
In this surgical procedure, a mechanical or tissue valve is transplanted into the heart to replace the damaged valve.

Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR)
The procedure, called Transmyocardial Revascularization, or TMR, uses laser surgery to create small holes directly into the heart muscle to relieve chest pain.
Angina occurs when blood vessels, which bring blood to the heart muscle, are clogged or damaged. When this happens, the heart muscle doesn't get the oxygen it needs and patients feel pain, called angina, in their chest, neck, jaw or shoulders. This pain can often severely limit their physical activity and ability to do the things they want to do.
The procedure takes about 90 minutes, and involves a small incision on the left side of the chest. A bypass machine is not needed, and blood thinners are not used during TMR.
For certain patients needing bypass surgery, TMR can be used in areas of the heart where bypasses cannot be placed. This can improve the results of the surgery.

Valvuloplasty is a procedure in which a catheter with a large balloon is used to open a heart valve that has become narrowed usually as the result of scarring. The catheter is guided through the aorta to the valve, and once in place within the leaflets, the balloon is inflated until the leaflets are loosened. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn from the body.

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