Interventional procedures are tests or treatments which involve catheters which are threaded from a large artery to the heart. Cardiac catheterization is the best-known cardiology procedure, a life-saving means of both diagnosis and treatment. A cardiac cath, sometimes known as a heart cath, is often used to diagnose coronary artery disease before a heart attack occurs. In many cases, the vessels can be opened on the spot which is called an interventional procedure. In other cases, a cardiac cath may show that open heart surgery is the best treatment for the patient.
Common Interventional Procedures performed at Trinity include:
With this procedure, a catheter is used to create a bigger opening in the vessel to increase blood flow. Although angioplasty is performed in other blood vessels, Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) refers to angioplasty in the coronary arteries to permit more blood flow into the heart. There are several types of PTCA procedures, including:
Balloon Angioplasty - a small balloon is inflated inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area.
Atherectomy - the blocked area inside the artery is "shaved" away by a tiny device on the end of a catheter.
Laser Angioplasty - a laser used to "vaporize" the blockage in the artery.
Coronary Artery Stent - a tiny coil is expanded inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area and is left in place to keep the artery open. The drug-coated stents release medicine that prevents scarring, which might lead to future blockage. [ Back to top ]
This procedure uses radio waves or freezing to silence an abnormal area in the heart's electrical system, which is usually found during an electrophysiology study. [ Back to top ]
This surgical procedure treats atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter – irregular heart rhythms that can cause palpitations, fatigue and shortness of breath. The surgeon creates new electrical pathways to channel the heart’s electrical flow to create a normal heart rhythm. [ Back to top ]
A permanent pacemaker is inserted into the patient's heart and upper chest to provide a reliable heartbeat when the heart's own rhythm is too fast, too slow or irregular. A permanent pacemaker is usually inserted while the patient is in the electrophysiology lab. [ Back to top ]
A defibrillator is inserted into the patient's heart and chest to send out a small amount of electricity when needed to jolt heart rhythm back to normal. [ Back to top ]