Cardiac catheterization labs
The cardiac catheterization labs at Community Heart and Vascular Hospital are designed to provide innovative, skilled care to cardiac patients who need catheter-based therapy. We offer the full spectrum of procedures, from angioplasty and stent placement to atrial fibrillation ablation and pacemaker implantation.
Our team is competent in the latest cardiovascular techniques using research-based medicine, and we have excellent patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. We pride ourselves on providing individualized care and open access to the labs. Patients see the same physician throughout their care, from office visits to lab procedures.
Our cardiac cath labs are some of the most modern in the country, built on our pioneering work in all-digital acquisition of imaging and clinical data. In January 2012, we completed an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art heart disease/electrophysiology lab that sits next to a fully-staffed daybed area just for cardiovascular procedures. Both are adjacent to the ER, which leads to fast door-to-balloon times for patients and some of the best clinical outcomes in the U.S.
What is cardiac catheterization?
Cardiac catheterization is used to diagnose and treat a variety of heart conditions, including arrhythmia/fibrillation, heart failure, coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, and more. A catheter is a long, thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a blood vessel in your arm, groin (upper thigh), or neck and threaded to the heart. Through the catheter, a heart physician can do diagnostic tests and treatments on the heart.
The cardiac catheterization team performs all standard cardiovascular, electrophysiology and vascular procedures as well as non-invasive treatment for angina and specialized diagnostic procedures:
- Left heart catheterization
- Selective coronary angiography
- Vein graft angiography
- LIMA and RIMA angiography
- Right heart (Swan-Ganz) catheterization
- Temporary pacemaker
- Pulmonary angiograms
- PTCA and placement of coronary stents
- Rotational atherectomy
- Angiojet venous graft thrombectomy
- Coronary thrombectomy
- Percutaneous mitral and aortic balloon valvuloplasty
- Transeptal catheter placement
- IVUS (intravascular ultrasound)
- Fractional flow reserve measurement
- Intracoronary infusion of thrombolytic agents
- Endomycardial biopsy
- Insertion of IABP (intra-aortic balloon pump)
- Insertion of Impella LD left ventricular assist devices
- PFO/ASD closure
- Comprehensive conduction analysis with and without arrhythmia induction
- Comprehensive conduction analysis with arrhythmia induction after drug infusion
- EP ablation of accessory pathway
- Atrial fibrillation ablation
- Bundle of HIS recording
- ICD implantation
- ICD analysis with re-programming
- Event recorder insertion and removal
- Biventricular pacemaker implantation and removal
- Temporary pacemaker implantation and removal
- Single and dual-chamber pacemaker implantation and removal
- Pacemaker analysis with or without re-programming
- Pacemaker revision
- Pacemaker lead repair and battery charge
- Pacemaker or ICD pocket revision
- Angiography of extremity arterial and venous system
- Angiography of carotid arterial system
- Angiography of renal arteries
- Atherectomy of extremity arterial system with Silverhawk™ Plaque Excision System
- PTA and/or stent placement of Fem-pop arteries
- PTA and/or stent of Iliac arteries
- PTA and/or stent placement of renal arteries
- PTA and/or stent of Tibioperoneal arteries
- Carotid stents
- Laser angioplasty of extremity vessels
- Rotational atherectomy of extremity vessels with Diamondback 360° PAD System
- Treatment of acute leg ischemia with direct thrombolytic infusion
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP)
Chest pain, or angina, occurs when the heart does not receive enough oxygen. Angina symptoms can vary from person to person. Chest pressure and chest fullness are the most common examples of angina. Sometimes it may feel like shortness of breath or indigestion and on occasion it may be even fatigue. The cause of angina is always the same: poor blood to the heart muscle, no matter what the symptoms are. Once the artery has become blocked, there are several traditional approaches available to treat coronary disease, including medication, angioplasty, stents and coronary artery bypass surgery. For patients who are not candidates for those traditional treatments, or for whom traditional treatments have not relieved angina, there is another option.
A non-invasive treatment called enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a safe and effective way to improve blood flow to the heart muscle, minimizing angina, possibly decreasing the need for heart medication, and improving the patient’s quality of life. EECP increases blood flow to the heart muscle that is not receiving enough blood and oxygen by helping form new small blood vessels. Known as collaterals, these blood vessels naturally bypass the blocked arteries.
The EECP treatment regimens are one hour a day, five days a week for a total of 35 treatment hours. Patients lay on a treatment table with cuffs wrapped around their calves, thighs and buttocks. Three electrodes are placed on the chest; the system uses an ECG signal to synchronize inflation and deflation of the cuffs. Patients experience a sensation of a strong “hug” moving upwards from the calves to the thighs and to the buttocks during inflation followed by a rapid release of pressure on deflation. EECP treatments are relatively comfortable. To help patients relax, they can watch TV, listen to music or sometimes patients may even sleep.
Transradial approach to coronary diagnostic procedures
Cardiac catheterization diagnostic procedures are traditionally performed by placing catheters through the artery in the groin area. This type of procedure necessitates a period of approximately six hours of bed rest after the catheters have been removed and the bleeding stopped.
For patients who find it very difficult to lay on their back in bed for lengthy periods of time, or who have disease in the arteries of the lower body, the transradial approach to cardiac catheterization offers an alternative method that can eliminate the post-procedure bed rest.
Instead of utilizing the artery in the groin area, the artery in the wrist (radial artery) is used to insert the catheters. After the procedure is completed, the catheters are immediately removed and a pressure dressing is applied to the wrist after the bleeding is controlled. The patient is then able to get up from the procedure table immediately.
Not all patients are candidates for this type of procedure. Certain requirements regarding circulation to the hand and certain types and locations of coronary artery disease are unable to be treated using this approach.