Cardiac Cath Lab Procedures Performed at St. Mary's
Cardiac cath lab procedures require a physician referral and are performed by a cardiologist following an evaluation.
Diagnostic and interventional cardiology services provided in the lab include:
Carotid artery stenting:
A non-surgical, catheter-based procedure which unblocks narrowing of the carotid artery lumen to prevent a stroke.
Coronary peripheral stenting:
A stent is a small metal coil, or mesh tube, that may be placed in the artery to help keep it from reclosing by providing a scaffolding-like support. A stent is commonly used in conjunction with a balloon angioplasty and athrectomies. St. Mary's also places drug-eluting stents to treat coronary and peripheral vascular disease.
A device used to clear plaque from clogged coronary arteries. A diamond-tipped drill, the rotoblator rotates at high speed in order to bore through deposits of plaque, breaking plaque into tiny particles. These particles then flow from the artery, leaving the artery clear of obstruction.
Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS):
IVUS uses sound waves, which travel through a catheter, to produce an image of the coronary arteries. This procedure allows physicians to look inside blood vessels and assess their condition.
A device that utilizes sound waves to assist in the evaluation of the heart arteries. A small catheter is placed inside the artery, and pictures are taken from within to better define the blockages.
This procedure is similar to balloon angioplasty of the heart arteries. The difference is that a larger balloon is used to expand a constricted valve, leading to increased blood flow through the heart.
Examines arteries of the body (i.e. arteries in the leg) for diagnosis and treatment. This procedure helps increase the blood flow where needed. Balloons and stents are often used in other arteries outside the heart.
Electrophysiology (EP) Studies:
Patients with a heart rhythm problem, or symptoms that suggest one, may be recommended for an electrophysiology (EP) study to learn more about their heart's electrical system. The doctor who specializes in heart rhythm problems and performs the procedures is called an electrophysiologist. During an EP study, the heart rhythm is monitored and analyzed from inside the heart through electrode catheters placed through the veins. The EP study can help determine exactly what the rhythm problem is and what can be done to control it.
3-D mapping of the heart uses computerized technology to help physicians pinpoint the exact location of an irregular heart rhythm by allowing physicians to see the heart's left atrium and pulmonary veins in real time. This enhances the ability to accurately locate irregular signals within the heart for ablation.
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT):
CRT, uses a specialized pacemaker that sends small electrical impulses to the heart to re-synchronize the action of the right and left ventricles in patients with heart failure. CRT allows the heart to fill and pump blood more effectively.