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Cardiovascular

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Blood Test
Blood Test A blood test is a lab analysis of the elements in your blood. Depending on why your doctor recommended a blood test, he or she might be looking for only one factor in your blood, or several. Your doctor might order a blood test to find out if you are sick, if your body is responding to an allergy, or if you are at risk for certain health conditions. Regular blood tests might be ordered to keep track of how well you and your doctor are managing a condition such as diabetes or high cholesterol....
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair (Abdominal Aneurysm--Open Repair, AAA Repair, Triple A Repair, Abdominal Aneurysmectomy, Endovascular Aneurysm Repair, EVAR) Procedure overview What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair? Location of the Aortas and Arteries in the Human Body (Click to Enlarge) Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is a procedure used to treat an aneurysm (abnormal enlargement) of the abdominal aorta. Repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm may be performed surgically through an open inc...
Carotid Endarterectomy/Carotid Angioplasty with Stenting
Carotid Endarterectomy / Carotid Angioplasty with Stenting (Endarterectomy-Carotid, CEA, Carotid Artery Angioplasty with Stenting, CAS, Carotid Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty, CPTA/Stenting, Carotid Artery Stenting) Procedure overview What are carotid endarterectomy and carotid angioplasty with stenting? Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid artery angioplasty with stenting (CAS) are procedures performed to treat carotid artery disease in certain circumstances. Carotid artery disease, also cal...
Electrocardiogram
Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG, Resting ECG, Resting EKG) Procedure overview What is an electrocardiogram? An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms, and legs. When the electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, interpreted, and printed out for the physician's information and further interpre...
Electrophysiological Studies
Electrophysiological Studies (EP Study, EPS, Electrophysiology Studies) Procedure overview What is an electrophysiological study? An electrophysiological study (EP study) is an invasive procedure that tests the heart's electrical system. The electrical system of the heart generates the heart beat. During an EP study, a small, plastic catheter (tube) is inserted through a vein in the groin (or neck, in some cases) and is threaded into the heart, using a special type of X-ray, called fluoroscopy, to guide...
Exercise Electrocardiogram
Exercise Electrocardiogram (Exercise ECG, Exercise EKG, Stress Test) Procedure overview What is an exercise electrocardiogram? An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms, and legs. When the electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, interpreted, and printed out for the physician's informati...
Femoral Popliteal Bypass Surgery
Femoral Popliteal Bypass Surgery (Femoropopliteal Bypass-Open, PTA, Balloon Angioplasty) Procedure overview What are femoral popliteal bypass surgery and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty of the femoral arteries? Femoral popliteal (also called femoropopliteal) bypass surgery is a surgical procedure that may be used to treat severe blockage due to plaque in the femoral artery. A newer, minimally-invasive procedure is percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) of the femoral arteries. The femoral and...
Heart Transplantation Procedure
Heart Transplantation Procedure (Transplant-Heart, Heart Transplant, Cardiac Transplant) Procedure overview What is a heart transplant? A heart transplant is a surgical procedure performed to remove the diseased heart from a patient and replace it with a healthy one from an organ donor. In order to remove the heart from the donor, two or more doctors must declare the donor brain-dead. Before a person can be put on a waiting list for a heart transplant, a doctor makes the determination that there is no o...
Holter Monitor
Holter Monitor (Continuous Electrocardiogram, Continuous ECG, Ambulatory ECG Monitoring) Procedure overview What is a Holter monitor? The Holter monitor is a type of electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) used to monitor the ECG tracing continuously for a period of 24 hours or longer. A standard or "resting" ECG is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest and abdomen. When the electrodes are connected ...
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Insertion
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Insertion Procedure overview What is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) insertion? An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) insertion is the implantation of an electronic device just below the collarbone used to help regulate 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 rhythms with eit...
Pacemaker Insertion
Pacemaker Insertion Procedure overview What is a pacemaker insertion? A pacemaker insertion is the implantation of a small electronic device in the chest (just below the collarbone) to help regulate electrical problems with the heart. When a problem develops, such as a slow heart rate, a pacemaker may be recommended to ensure that the heartbeat does not slow to a dangerously low rate. The heart's electrical conduction system Click Image to Enlarge The heart is basically a pump made up of muscle tissue t...
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) and Stent Placement
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) and Stent Placement (PTCA, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, PCI) Procedure overview What is percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)? Click Image to Enlarge Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is performed to open blocked coronary arteries caused by coronary artery disease (CAD) and to restore arterial blood flow to the heart tissue without open-heart surgery. A special catheter (long hollow tube) is inserted into th...
Valvuloplasty
Valvuloplasty (Balloon Valvuloplasty) Procedure overview What is valvuloplasty? Valvuloplasty is performed, in certain circumstances, to open a stenotic (stiff) heart valve. In valvuloplasty, a very small, narrow, hollow tube, or catheter, is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin through the aorta into the heart. Once the catheter is placed in the valve to be opened, a large balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated until the leaflets (flaps) of the valve are opened. Once the valve has been ope...
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac Catheterization (Cardiac Cath, Coronary Arteriogram, Coronary Angiogram) Procedure overview What is cardiac catheterization? Cardiac catheterization is performed to further evaluate coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure, and/or certain congenital (present at birth) heart conditions, such as atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect, when other less invasive types of diagnostic tests indicate the presence of one of these conditions. In cardiac catheteri...
Transesophageal Echocardiogram
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE, Heart Scan with Endoscopy, Transesophageal Echocardiography) Procedure overview What is a transesophageal echocardiogram? A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a diagnostic procedure that uses echocardiography to assess the heart’s function. Echocardiography is a procedure used to assess the heart's function and structures. During the procedure, a transducer (like a microphone) sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transdu...
Radionuclide Angiogram, Resting
Radionuclide Angiogram, Resting (Resting RNA, MUGA, Gated Blood Pool Scan [Resting], Gated Cardiac Scan, Resting Gated Blood Pool Scan, Cardiac Blood Pool Imaging) Procedure overview What is a resting radionuclide angiogram (RNA)? Resting radionuclide angiogram (RNA) is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a radionuclide (radiopharmaceutical or radioactive tracer), is used during the procedure to assist in the examination of the tissue un...
Radionuclide Angiogram, Resting and Exercise
Radionuclide Angiogram, Resting and Exercise (RNA, MUGA, Gated Blood Pool Scan [Resting and Exercise], Gated Cardiac Scan, Exercise Gated Blood Pool Scan, Cardiac Blood Pool Imaging) Procedure overview What is a resting and exercise radionuclide angiogram (RNA)? Resting and exercise radionuclide angiogram (RNA) is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a radionuclide (radiopharmaceutical or radioactive tracer), is used during the procedure ...
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Heart
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Heart (MRI Scan of the Heart, Cardiac MRI) Procedure overview What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. How does MRI work? The MRI machine is a large, cylindrical (tube-shaped) machine that creates a strong magnetic field around the patient. This magn...
Myocardial Perfusion Scan, Resting
Myocardial Perfusion Scan, Resting (Resting Thallium Scan, Cardiac Nuclear Imaging, Cardiolite Scan, Sestamibi Scan) Procedure overview What is a resting myocardial perfusion scan? A myocardial perfusion scan is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a radionuclide (radiopharmaceutical or radioactive tracer), is used during the procedure to assist in the examination of the tissue under study. Specifically, the myocardial perfusion scan eval...
Myocardial Perfusion Scan, Stress
Myocardial Perfusion Scan, Stress (Exercise Thallium, Stress Thallium, Cardiac Nuclear Imaging, Adenosine Thallium Scan, Cardiolite Scan) Procedure overview What is a stress myocardial perfusion scan? A myocardial perfusion scan is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a radionuclide (radiopharmaceutical or radioactive tracer), is used during the procedure to assist in the examination of the tissue under study. Specifically, the myocardial...
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery (Open Heart Surgery) Procedure overview What is heart valve repair or replacement surgery? Heart valve repair or replacement surgery is a treatment option for valvular heart disease. When heart valves become damaged or diseased, they may not function properly. Conditions which may cause heart valve dysfunction are valvular stenosis and valvular insufficiency (regurgitation). When one (or more) valve(s) becomes stenotic (stiff), the heart muscle must work harder ...
Echocardiogram
Echocardiogram (Echocardiography, Echo, Cardiac Ultrasound, Cardiac Ultrasonography, Cardiac Doppler, Transthoracic Echocardiogram, TTE) Procedure overview What is an echocardiogram? An echocardiogram is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the heart's function and structures. During the procedure, a transducer (like a microphone) sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the chest at certain locations and angles, t...
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram (DSE, Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography, Dobutamine Stress Echo) Procedure overview What is a dobutamine stress echocardiogram? A dobutamine stress echocardiogram is a diagnostic procedure that may be used when a physician wants to assess the heart muscle under stress. If exercise on a treadmill is not an option (too much stress on the heart) due to a person’s medical condition, a physician may use an intravenous medication called dobutamine. Dobutamine causes the heart...
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Chest
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Chest (Chest CT Scan, Thoracic CT Scan, CT of the Thorax) Procedure overview Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays. In standard X-rays...
Venogram
Venogram (Venography, Phlebography, Lower Limb Venography) Procedure overview What is a venogram? A venogram is a procedure that provides X-ray visualization of the veins, particularly in the lower extremities (legs). A special dye is injected that is visible on X-ray. The contrast dye allows the doctor to evaluate the size and condition of the veins. A venogram is one of the more accurate tests used for diagnosing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but can also be used to diagnose other abnormalities. Click I...
Tilt Table Procedure
Tilt Table Procedure (Upright Tilt Testing) Procedure overview What is a tilt table procedure? A tilt table procedure is a diagnostic procedure that may be used to evaluate a person who has symptoms of syncope (fainting). When a person has a complaint of syncope, the physician will carefully evaluate the person's past medical history and perform a physical examination. If basic components of the examination or history do not reveal a potential cause for the syncope, and the person has no history of hear...
Right Heart Catheterization with Heart Tissue Biopsy
Right Heart Catheterization with Heart Tissue Biopsy (Heart Biopsy, Right Heart Cath with Biopsy) Procedure overview What is a right heart catheterization with heart tissue biopsy? Right heart catheterization (often abbreviated as right heart cath) with heart tissue biopsy is a procedure in which tissue samples are taken directly from the heart muscle. This procedure may be done in addition to a right heart cath to see if the heart tissue is normal. In a right heart cath, the doctor guides a special cat...
Chest X-ray
Chest X-ray (Chest Radiography, CXR) Procedure overview What is a chest X-ray? A chest X-ray is a type of diagnostic radiology procedure used to examine the chest and the organs and structures located in the chest. Chest X-rays may be used to assess the lungs, as well as the heart (either directly or indirectly) by looking at the heart itself. Certain conditions of the heart may cause changes in the lungs and/or the vessels of the lungs. Changes in the normal structure of the heart, lungs, and/or lung v...
Catheter Ablation
Catheter Ablation If you have been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia–a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat–your doctor may recommend a procedure called catheter ablation to improve your condition. Facts about catheter ablation Also known as a cardiac ablation or radiofrequency ablation, this procedure guides a tube into your heart to destroy small areas of heart tissue that may be causing your abnormal heartbeat. Not everyone with a heart arrhythmia needs a catheter ablation. It’s usually ...
Right Heart Catheterization
Right Heart Catheterization (Right Heart Cath; Pulmonary Artery Catheterization; Catheterization, Right Heart; Swan-Ganz "Swan" Catheterization) Procedure overview What is a right heart catheterization? A right heart catheterization is performed to determine how well the heart is pumping and to measure the pressures in the heart and lungs. In a right heart cath, the doctor guides a special catheter (a small, hollow tube) called a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter to the right side of the heart and passes i...
Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) (CTA) Procedure overview CT angiography is a type of medical exam that combines a CT scan with an injection of a special dye to produce pictures of blood vessels and tissues in a part of your body. The dye is injected through an intravenous (IV) line started in your arm or hand. A computerized tomography scan, or CT scan, is a type of X-ray that uses a computer to make cross-sectional images of your body. The dye injected to perform CT angiography is called a contra...
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram, MRA) Procedure overview You might be familiar with the testing procedure called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this test, radio waves, a magnetic field, and a computer create a scan of your body parts to look for health problems. Magnetic resonance angiography–also called a magnetic resonance angiogram or MRA–is a type of MRI that looks specifically at the body’s blood vessels. Unlike a traditional angiogram, which requires insert...
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG)
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (CABG) (CABG, Open Heart Surgery, Bypass Surgery) Procedure overview What is coronary artery bypass surgery? Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is a procedure used to treat coronary artery disease in certain circumstances. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the narrowing of the coronary arteries (the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle), caused by a buildup of fatty material within the walls of the arteries. This buildup causes t...
Exercise Echocardiogram
Exercise Echocardiogram (Stress Echocardiogram, Exercise Echocardiography, Exercise Echo) What is an exercise echocardiogram? An echocardiogram is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the heart's function and structures. An exercise echocardiogram is performed to assess the heart's response to stress or exercise. During the procedure, a transducer (like a microphone) sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the che...
Ultrafast Computed Tomography (Ultrafast CT Scan)
Ultrafast Computed Tomography (Ultrafast CT Scan) (Ultrafast CT, Electron-Beam Computed Tomography, EBCT, Cine CT Scan) Procedure overview Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays. In standard ...
Robotic Cardiac Surgery
Robotic Cardiac Surgery (Robotic-assisted Cardiac Surgery, Robotic Heart Surgery, da Vinci Surgery) Procedure overview Robotic cardiac surgery is a form of heart surgery performed through very small incisions in the chest. With the use of tiny instruments and robotic devices, surgeons are able to perform several types of heart surgery in a way that is much less invasive than other types of heart surgery. The procedure is sometimes called da Vinci surgery because that is the name of the manufacturer of t...
Amputation Procedure
Amputation Procedure (Surgical Removal of an Extremity or Limb) Procedure overview What is amputation? Amputation is a surgical procedure that involves removal of an extremity or limb (leg or arm) or a part of a limb (such as a toe, finger, foot, or hand), usually as a result of injury, disease, infection, or surgery (to remove tumors from bones and muscles). Amputation of the leg (above and below-knee) is the most common type of amputation procedure performed. Why are amputations done? The most common ...
Vascular Studies
Vascular Studies (Carotid, Arm, and Leg Arterial and Venous Studies, Carotid Ultrasound, Venous Doppler Studies, Arterial Doppler Studies, Pulse Volume Recordings, PVRS) Procedure overview What are vascular studies? Vascular studies are a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to assess the blood flow in arteries and veins. A transducer (like a microphone) sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the skin at certain locations an...
Laser Varicose Vein Surgery
Laser Varicose Vein Surgery Procedure overview Your heart pumps blood to the various parts of your body through the arteries. The blood returns to your heart through your veins. Sometimes your veins can become swollen and bulging. These are called varicose veins . Varicose veins often occur on your thighs or calves. Doctors can treat varicose veins with a number of methods. One of these is laser varicose vein surgery. This procedure uses heat from a laser to close and shrink the vein. Reasons for the pr...
Carotid Artery Duplex Scan
Carotid Artery Duplex Scan (Carotid Ultrasound, Vascular Ultrasound Study, Carotid Artery Doppler Sonography) Procedure overview A carotid artery duplex scan is a type of vascular ultrasound study done to assess the blood flow of the arteries that supply blood from the heart through the neck to the brain. There are six carotid arteries--the right and left common carotid arteries, which divide and form the right and left internal carotid arteries and the right and left external carotid arteries. One pair...