In this minimally-invasive procedure, a catheter equipped with a balloon and cutting device is used to remove plaque from an obstructed coronary artery. The coronary arteries are the arteries that provide blood to the heart muscles. Directional atherectomy is typically most appropriate for the removal of softer types of plaque.
This minimally-invasive procedure is used to treat a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a tangle of enlarged vessels that can potentially hemorrhage and cause a devastating stroke. In this procedure, fast-drying glue or a small, soft metal coil is placed inside the AVM to help block the flow of blood and prevent hemorrhage.
An aortic angiogram is a test that takes pictures of the aorta. This is the main blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body. The test can show problems with your aorta, such as a blockage or an aneurysm (a balloon-like bulge in the wall of the aorta).
A coronary angiogram is a special X-ray test. It's done to find out if your coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, where and by how much. An angiogram can help your doctor see if you need treatment such as angioplasty or stent, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) or medical therapy. © AHA
Your heart's arteries can become blocked or narrowed from a buildup of cholesterol, cells or other substances (plaque). This can reduce blood flow to your heart and cause chest discomfort. Sometimes a blood clot can suddenly form or get worse and completely block blood flow, leading to a heart attack. Angioplasty opens blocked arteries and restores normal blood flow to your heart muscle. It is not major surgery. It is done by threading a catheter (thin tube) through a small puncture in a leg or arm artery to the heart. The blocked artery is opened by inflating a tiny balloon in it. © AHA
A stent is a small metal coil or mesh tube that is placed in a narrowed artery through a catheter (a long, thin tube) to help improve blood flow to your heart. The stent permanently holds the passageway open and helps reduce the rate of restenosis, renarrowing of the artery.
During your angioplasty, a doctor inserts a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin or wrist. The catheter is pushed through your blood vessel to a blocked area in one of your heart's arteries. The doctor inflates a tiny balloon at the tip of the catheter and stretches the blocked vessel so blood can flow freely. The balloon is then deflated and removed with the catheter. The doctor may also insert a metal mesh tube called a stent in the blocked vessel. The stent helps the vessel stay open.
The body generates electrical impulses that cause the heart to beat. In some people, those electrical impulses don't happen in a normal pattern, which can cause the heart to beat too slowly, too fast or irregularly. A very slow heartbeat can lead to fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness and fainting. In patients who are at risk for a very slow heart rate, doctors often recommend a pacemaker.
Disorders in the heart's electrical system can lead to arrhythmias, or an abnormal heart rhythm. Some patients who have been diagnosed with a slow heart rate, known as bradycardia, may require a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a device that is implanted in the chest and can correct a slow heartbeat.
Following the pacemaker implant procedure, the patient will stay in the hospital for one or two nights to make sure the wound is healing without complications and the device is working properly. Before discharging the patient, the health care team will provide instructions on how to care for the wound at home.
If you've recently been given a pacemaker, you may have some concerns. You may worry that it will keep you from activities you enjoy. But it won't. Sure, you'll need to cut back on some things while your pacemaker settles into place. But soon, you'll be as active as anyone else your age.
If your heart beats too fast or doesn't beat with a regular pattern, you may need electrical cardioversion. During this hospital procedure, your heart is shocked with electricity. It can help give your heart a normal beat. Cardioversion isn't the same as defibrillation. That's an emergency procedure that uses high-energy shocks. Cardioversion uses low-energy shocks.
The body generates electrical impulses that cause the heart to beat. In some people, those electrical impulses don't happen in a normal pattern, which can cause the heart to beat too slowly, too fast or irregularly. A very fast heartbeat can lead to ventricular tachycardia, a potentially life-threatening condition. In patients who are at risk for ventricular tachycardia, doctors often recommend an implantable cardioverter defibrillator or ICD.
Disorders in the heart's electrical system can lead to arrhythmias, or an abnormal heart rhythm. Some arrhythmias can be life threatening and require an electrical shock to return the heart to a normal rhythm. Patients who are at risk for sudden cardiac death may require an implantable cardiac defibrillator or ICD, which can deliver a life-saving shock if the heart starts to beat too fast or in a chaotic pattern.
Following the ICD implant procedure, the patient will stay in the hospital for one or two nights to make sure the wound is healing without complications and the device is working properly. Before discharging the patient, the healthcare team will provide instructions on how to care for the wound at home.
An ICD is a battery-powered device placed under the skin that keeps track of your heart rate. Two thin wires connect the ICD to one or more of the chambers in your heart. The heart sends electric signals to the ICD. The ICD can deliver an electric pulse or shock to help restore a normal heartbeat to your heart if it is beating chaotically and much too fast. Cardiac defibrillation is a way to return an abnormally fast or disorganized heartbeat to normal with an electric shock. © AHA
An ICD is a device that is placed permanently inside your body. An ICD monitors your heart rhythm (the speed and pattern of your heartbeat). If this rhythm becomes too fast or too slow, the ICD sends out electrical signals that help bring the rhythm back to normal. Read on to learn more.
A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube. It props open an artery and is left there permanently. When a coronary artery (an artery feeding the heart muscle) is narrowed by a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque, it can reduce blood flow. If blood flow is reduced to the heart muscle, chest pain can result. If a clot forms and completely blocks the blood flow to part of the heart muscle, a heart attack results. Stents help keep coronary arteries open and reduce the chance of a heart attack. © AHA
Heart valves regulate the flow of blood through the heart. If a poorly-functioning valve cannot be repaired, it may be replaced with a mechanical or biological valve. Any of the four heart valves can be damaged, but the mitral and aortic valves are the ones most frequently replaced. This animation will show the replacement of the mitral valve through a small opening in the patient's side.
A problem with a heart valve will usually cause the heart to make a noise. Your provider can hear this noise, called a murmur. But you can have a heart murmur and not have valve disease or any other heart problem. Other tests can help confirm the diagnosis of valve disease.
Mitral insufficiency means your mitral valve has problems closing, letting blood leak back through the valve. Mild cases of mitral insufficiency, when a small amount of blood leaks, rarely lead to problems. But severe cases can cause damage to the ventricle and heart muscle.
If you are having symptoms, certain medications can ease them. Other medications help prevent problems that may occur due to valve disease. Your doctor can discuss what medications might be right for you. Here are some types of medications that may be prescribed and what they do.