Procedures

Cardiac Procedures and Surgeries


Angioplasty (AKA Percutaneous Coronary Interventions PCI, Balloon Angioplasty and Coronary Artery Balloon Dilation)

What the procedure does: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded to the coronary arteries. It is then inflated to widen blocked areas where blood flow to the heart muscle has been reduced or cut off. Considered less invasive because the body is not cut open. Lasts from 30 minutes to several hours. Often requires an overnight hospital stay.

Reasons for the procedure:
  • Greatly increases blood flow through the blocked artery
  • Decreases chest pain (angina)
  • Increases ability for physical activity
  • Reduces risk of heart attack
Laser Angioplasty

What the procedure does: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a laser tip that opens the blocked artery. Pulsating beams of light vaporize the plaque buildup.

Reason for the procedure:
  • Increases blood flow through blocked arteries
Artificial Heart Valve Surgery (AKA Heart Valve Replacement Surgery)

What the procedure does: Replaces an abnormal or diseased heart valve with a healthy one.

Reason for the procedure:
  • Restores function of the heart valve

Atherectomy

What the procedure does: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a rotating shaver on its tip to cut away plaque from the artery.

Reason for the procedure:
  • Increases blood flow through the blocked artery by removing plaque buildup
Bypass Surgery (AKA CABG or "cabbage," Coronary Artery Bypass Grafy and Open Heart Surgery)

What the procedure does: Treats blocked heart arteries by creating new passages for blood to flow to your heart muscle. It works by taking arteries or veins from other parts of your body - called grafts - and using them to reroute the blood around the clogged artery. A patient may undergo one, two, three or more bypass grafts, depending on how many coronary arteries are blocked. Requires several days in the hospital.

Reasons for the procedure:
  • One of the most common and effective procedures to manage blockage of blood to the heart muscle
  • Improves the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart
  • Relieves chest pain (angina)
  • Reduces risk of heart attack
  • Improves ability for physical activity
Cardiomyoplasty

What the procedure does: An experimental procedure in which skeletal muscles are taken from a patient's back or abdomen. Then they are wrapped around an ailing heart. This added muscle, aided by ongoing stimulation from a device similar to a pacemaker, may boost the heart's pumping motion.

Reason for the procedure:
  • Increases the pumping motion of the heart
Heart Transplant

What the procedure does: Removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a healthy human heart when a heart is irreversibly damaged. Uses hearts from organ donation.

Reason for the procedure:
  • Recognized as a proven procedure to restore heart health in appropriately selected patients.

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery (AKA Limited Access Coronary Artery Surgery and includes Port-Access Coronary Artery Bypass [PACAB or PortCAB] and Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Graft [MIDCAB])

What the procedure does: An alternative to standard bypass surgery (CABG). Small incisions are made in the chest. Chest arteries or veins from your leg are attached to the heart to bypass the clogged artery or arteries. The instruments are passed through the ports to perform the bypasses. The surgeon views these operations on video monitors rather than directly. In PACAB, the heart is stopped and blood is pumped through an oxygenator or heart-lung machine. MIDCAB is used to avoid the heart-lung machine. It is done while the heart is still beating. Requires several days in the hospital.

Reasons for the procedure:
  • Manages blockage of blood flow to the heart and improves the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart
  • Relieves chest pain (angina)
  • Reduces risk of heart attack
  • Improves ability for physical activity

Radiofrequency Ablation (AKA Catheter Ablation)

What the procedure does: A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muslce with real-time moving x-rays (fluoroscopy) displayed on a video screen. The catheter is placed on the exact site inside the heart where cells give off the electrical signals that stimulate the abnormal heart rhythm. Then a mild, painless radiofrequency energy (similar to microwave heat) is transmitted to the pathway. This destroys carefully selected heart muscle cells in a very small area.

Reason for the procedure:
  • Preferred treatment for many types of rapid heartbeats (arrhythmias) especially supraventricular tachyarrhythmias.

Stent Procedure

What the procedure does: A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during an angioplasty. The stent stays in the artery permanently.

Reasons for the procedure:
  • Holds the artery open
  • Improves blood flow to the heart muscle
  • Relives chest pain (angina)

Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR)

What the procedure does: An incision is made on the left breast to expose the heart. Then, a laser is used to drill a series of holes from the outside of the heart into the heart's pumping chamber. In some patients TMR is combined with bypass surgery. In those cases an incision through the breastbone is used for the bypass. Usually requires a hospital stay.

Reason for the procedure:
  • Used to relieve severe chest pain (angina) in very ill patients who aren't candidates for bypass surgery or angioplasty

More pages