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Coronary Angiography is an X-ray examination of the blood vessels or chambers of the heart. A very small tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel in the upper thigh (groin area) or arm. The tip of the tube is positioned either in the heart or at the beginning of the arteries supplying the heart and a special fluid (called a contrast medium or dye) is injected. This fluid is visible by X-ray and the pictures that are obtained are called angiograms.
Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting of Arteries
Coronary angioplasty and stenting of arteries is a therapeutic procedure to treat the stenotic (narrowed) coronary arteries of the heart found in coronary heart disease. These stenotic segments are caused by the buildup of cholesterol-laden plaques that form due to atherosclerosis.
Myocardial biopsy or cardiac biopsy, is a procedure that involves using a bioptome (a small catheter with a grasping device on the end) to obtain a small piece of heart muscle tissue to send to a laboratory for analysis.
Removing Abnormal Fluid or Blood Around the Heart
This is a procedure where a doctor uses a sterile needle or a small tube (catheter) to remove and drain the excess fluid from the pericardial cavity. The patient receives a local anesthetic before undergoing pericardiocentesis, which is often done with echocardiogram monitoring and ultrasound guidance. This drainage may continue for several days.
Internal or permanent pacemakers are used when the slow heart rate becomes chronic or is believed to be irreversible. The pacemaker is implanted into the chest or abdomen, usually on the left side of the chest. The implantable pacemaker is a device that uses electrical impulses to regulate the heart rhythm or to reproduce that rhythm. An internal pacemaker is one in which the electrodes into the heart, the electric circuitry and the power supply are implanted internally within the body.
Insertion of Implantable Defibrillators and Biventricular Pacemakers
The CRT pacing device (also called a biventricular pacemaker) is an electronic, battery-powered device that is surgically implanted under the skin. The device has two or three leads (wires) that are positioned in the heart to help the heart beat in a more balanced way. The leads are implanted through a vein in the right atrium and right ventricle and into the coronary sinus vein to pace the left ventricle.
Directional Coronary Atherectomy
The directional coronary atherectomy is a catheter intervention that allows us to shave out specific types of narrowing in the coronary artery. This procedure may be preferable to balloon angioplasty. Some of the factors that determine angioplasty versus atherectomy are the location of the blockage, the shape of the blockage, the size of the artery and whether clots are present in the artery.
During an electrophysiology (EP) study, a specially trained cardiac specialist may provoke arrhythmia events and collect data about the flow of electricity during actual events. As a result, EP studies can help locate the specific areas heart tissue that give rise to the abnormal electrical impulses that cause arrhythmias. This detailed electrical flow information provides valuable diagnostic and, therefore, treatment information. EP studies most often are recommended for patients with symptoms indicative of heart rhythm disorders or for people who may be at risk for Sudden Cardiac Death.