UAB HEART AND VASCULAR CLINIC OF CENTRAL ALABAMA INVASIVE STUDIES
(All these tests are performed in the hospital in an outpatient setting)
Biventricular Pacemaker and ICD Implantation Biventricular pacemakers and ICD implants are small electronic devices that are implanted below the collarbone to treat congestive heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction by pacing the left and right ventricles to resynchronize them.
Pacemaker Placement Pacemaker placement is an electronic device designed to stimulate contraction of the heart muscle when it is no longer able to do so naturally. The device is placed just below the collarbone through a small surgical opening.
Athrectomy Athrectomy is a procedure used to remove plaque from peripheral and coronary arteries. Plaque is the buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances in an artery’s inner lining. It uses a rotating shaver. The catheter is inserted into the body and advanced through an artery to the area of narrowing. Balloon angioplasty or stenting may be used after an athrectomy.
Cerebral Angiography A cerebral angiogram or arteriogram is a diagnostic test that produces images of the arteries in the brain and/or head and the blood flowing through them. It can help the doctor diagnose a number of problems with the blood vessels in the head and neck, including ruptured vessels or blockage of an artery, usually by fatty plaque. If a vessel is blocked, the patient may be at increased risk of stroke. Other conditions (such as a cerebral aneurysm) may also be revealed through a cerebral angiogram.
Cardiac Catheterization Cardiac catheterization is the insertion of a catheter (a long, narrow, flexible tube) through a blood vessel in the arm or leg which can then be positioned near the heart under x-ray guidance. This study provides essential information about all aspects of the heart. It is most frequently used to identify blockages in the arteries that feed the heart.
Coronary Angioplasty Coronary angioplasty is a procedure using a balloon-tipped catheter to open the blockage in an artery and improve blood flow to the heart. It is performed in the same fashion as a cardiac catheterization.
Coronary Stenting A coronary stent is an artificial support device placed in the coronary artery to keep the vessel open after treatment for coronary artery disease. Also called atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease is a build-up of fatty matter and debris on the walls of the arteries. Over time, this buildup narrows the arteries and reduces blood supply to the heart.
The stent is usually a stainless steel mesh tube that is available in various sizes to match the size of the artery and hold it open after the blockage in the artery has been treated.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Implantation In this procedure a small electronic device is placed inside the body. The device tracks the heart rhythm and returns an abnormal heart rhythm to a normal rhythm.
Peripheral Vascular Intervention Peripheral Vascular Intervention is an attractive option for selected patients with severe peripheral vascular disease involving the upper and lower extremitiesand renal arteries. Angioplasty and stenting is a catheterization procedure similar to a cardiac catheterization only the arteries of interest are in another vascular territory.
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) The TEE allows the physician to view the internal structures of the heart and its major vessels. A narrow, bendable tube with a special tip is inserted through the mouth and down the esophagus. The tip of this tube sends out sound waves that echo painlessly within the chest wall. The echocardiogram machine receives these waves and creates computerized images of the heart.
Implantable Loop Recorders An implantable loop recorder is also called an insertable cardiac monitor, which is a small implantable device that continuously monitors heart rhythms and records them automatically or by using a hand-held patient activator. The device is implanted just beneath the skin in the upper chest area during a simple procedure.