Hospital Procedures

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IAC Accredited Logo 2Hospital Procedures

All hospital procedures are performed at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Cardiac Catheterization and Coronary Angiography:

A Cardiac Cath is a procedure that helps doctors see how well your heart is working. Doctors insert a thin, hollow tube called a catheter into an artery in your arm or leg which leads to your heart. The catheter in this image is used to deliver dye that will show up on an X-ray (contrast dye) to visualize the coronary arteries. A Coronary Angiogram is a test that uses X-rays to help your doctor find narrowing or blockage in one or more of your coronary arteries. To perform an angiogram, a guide wire is inserted into the femoral artery of the leg and threaded up into the aorta. A catheter is then inserted along the guide wire. Once in place, a dye that is visible by X-rays (contrast dye) is injected into the bloodstream. Areas of narrowing can then be seen on a video screen and recorded. This procedure is done as part of the cardiac catheterization procedure.

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (Cardiac Angioplasty and Stenting):

Angioplasty gets blood flowing back to the heart. It opens a coronary artery that was narrowed or blocked during a heart attack. The coronary artery might be blocked by a blood clot and fat and calcium from a ruptured plaque that caused the heart attack. Angioplasty is also called Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) or Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA). If there is a blockage, the catheter is moved to the narrowed part of the artery. A tiny balloon is moved through the catheter and is used to open the artery. The balloon is inflated for a short time. Then it is deflated and removed. The pressure from the inflated balloon makes more room for the blood to flow, because the balloon presses the plaque against the wall of the artery. The doctor can also use the balloon to place a stent in the artery to keep it open.

A stent is a small, expandable tube. It is permanently inserted into the artery during
angioplasty. The stent keeps the artery open. During angioplasty, the balloon is placed inside the stent and inflated, which opens the stent and pushes it into place against the artery wall to keep the narrowed artery open. Because the stent is like woven mesh, the cells lining the blood vessel grow through and around the stent to help secure it. Your doctor may use a bare metal stent or a drug-eluting stent.

Pacemaker Implantation:

A pacemaker insertion is the implantation of a small electronic device that is usually placed in the chest (just below the collarbone) to help regulate slow electrical problems with the heart. A pacemaker may be recommended to ensure that the heartbeat does not slow to a dangerously low rate.

Defibrillator Implantation:

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) insertion of an electronic device just below the collarbone is used to help regulate potentially fast and life-threatening electrical problems with the heart. An ICD monitors the heart’s electrical activity using wires with electrodes on the end that are placed in specific areas of the heart. The ICD responds to irregular life-threatening heart rhythms from the lower chambers of the heart with either anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) consisting of low energy impulses to promote a normal heartbeat, or shock therapy with high energy impulses, to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. An ICD can record and store information about your heart rhythm and therapies delivered by the ICD for your doctor to review.

Implantable Loop Recorder Insertion & Removal:

An Implantable loop recorder is a small, thin device inserted under the skin that monitors and records your heart’s electrical activity over a long period of time in order to identify an irregular heart rhythm. The ILR can determine whether your symptoms are related to a heart rhythm problem.

Electrophysiology Studies (EPS):

These tests help doctors understand the nature of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) by testing the electrical activity of your heart to find where an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) is coming from. These results can help you and your doctor decide whether you need medicine, a pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), cardiac ablation or surgery.

Arrhythmia Catheter Ablation:

Catheter ablation is a treatment for cardiac arrhythmias. During ablation, a doctor inserts a catheter (thin, flexible tube) into the heart. A special machine delivers energy through the catheter to tiny areas of the heart muscle that cause the abnormal heart rhythm. This energy “disconnects” the pathway of the abnormal rhythm.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE):

This test is conducted in the hospital. A probe is passed down the esophagus instead of being moved over the outside of the chest wall. TEE shows clearer pictures of your heart, because the probe is located closer to the heart and because the lungs and bones of the chest wall do not block the sound waves produced by the probe. A sedative and an anesthetic applied to the throat are used to make you comfortable during this test.

Electrical Cardioversion:

A medical procedure during which the heart is given a brief electrical shock to convert an abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm. It is usually done to treat atrial fibrillation. Your physician may first prescribe medications to convert the abnormal heart rhythm back to a normal rhythm. If medications do not work, electrical Cardioversion may be the next step.

Tilt Table Testing:

The results of this test will help your doctor determine what may be causing your symptoms of light-headedness or fainting spells (also called syncope).
The tilt table test records your blood pressure and heart rate on a minute-by-minute basis while the table is tilted in a head-up position at different levels while watching you to trigger your symptoms. Tilt table tests can be used to see if fainting is due to abnormal control of heart rate or blood pressure. A very slow heart rate (bradycardia) can cause fainting