Patient's Guide to Invasive and Interventional Cardiology
Cardiac catheterization and other invasive diagnostic procedures are generally recommended when doctors need to confirm the presence of a clinically suspected condition.
The following procedures, which are performed at the Mat Gaberty Heart Center, determine if a patient has coronary - peripheral artery disease:
- Left Heart Cath: Used to visualize the heart's arteries and look for blockages
- Right Heart Cath: Measures the pressures in the four chambers of the heart
- Intravascular Ultrasound: Used to look inside the arteries and determine the blood flow within the vessel
- Cardiac and Peripheral Angioplasty and Stenting: Placing a balloon into the blocked artery, inflating it and holding it open with a wire coil, which is called a stent
- Coronary Atherectomy (Rotoblator): A roto-rooter approach to clogged arteries
- Right Ventricular Biopsy: The removal of a tissue sample from the wall of the heart for analysis
- Transesophageal Echocardiography: An ultrasound scope is passed down the esophagus to visualize the chambers of the heart.
- Electrophysiology and Arrythmia Services: These are used to determine the cause of irregular heart rates.
- Cardioversion: Returns irregular heart rates to regular beats
Advance Practice Nurses at the Mat Gaberty Heart Center provide point-of-service pre-admission testing and education for interventional patients.
Your doctor's office will schedule your procedure at the heart center. Patients and family members should arrive at the hospital an hour prior to the pre-admission testing and staff will confirm the time of the procedure. Family members should stay at the hospital until the procedure is completed and they have spoken with the doctor. The patient may or may not go home the same day depending on the outcome of the procedure and the doctor's recommendations.
Patient's Guide to Echocardiography
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of your heart. It is used to study the heart and surrounding structures. It is a non-invasive procedure which is helpful in determining heart size and ventricular function. Heart clots and damage after a heart attack can often be detected through this procedure. It is often used in conjunction with doppler ultrasounds.
The process: You will be asked to lie on an exam table while a technologist moves a transducer over your chest and heart region. A small amount of gel is applied during this procedure. You will be asked to lay still, change positions or hold your breath. Most exams take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.