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Femoral Popliteal Bypass Surgery
Femoral Popliteal Bypass Surgery What is femoral popliteal bypass surgery and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) of the femoral arteries? Femoral popliteal bypass surgery is used to treat blocked femoral artery. The femoral artery is the largest artery in the thigh. It supplies oxygen-rich blood to the leg. Blockage is due to plaque buildup or atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis in the leg arteries causes peripheral vascular disease. The same process causes heart disease and stroke. There are two ...
Transesophageal Echocardiogram
Transesophageal Echocardiogram What is a transesophageal echocardiogram? A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) uses echocardiography to assess how well the heart works. 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 at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the heart tissues, where the waves bounce or "echo" off of the heart struct...
Robotic Cardiac Surgery
Robotic Cardiac Surgery What is robotic cardiac surgery? Robotic cardiac surgery is a form of heart surgery done through very small incisions in the chest. With the use of tiny instruments and robotic devices, surgeons are able to do 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 the robot often used for this procedure. PCardio_20140403_v0_002 Robotic ...
Pacemaker Insertion
Pacemaker Insertion What is a pacemaker? A pacemaker is a small electronic device that helps regulate slow electrical problems in the heart. The pacemaker is usually implanted in the chest, just below the collarbone. Your doctor may recommend this device to keep your heartbeat from slowing down to a dangerously low rate. PCardio_20140402_v0_006 The heart is a pump made up of muscle tissue that is stimulated by electrical currents, which normally follow a specific circuit within the heart. These natural ...
Holter Monitor
Holter Monitor What is a Holter monitor? The Holter monitor is a type of electrocardiogram (ECG) used to record an ECG tracing of the heart continuously for 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 that stick to the skin) are placed at certain locations on the chest and abdomen. When the electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, ...
Heart Transplant
Heart Transplant What is a heart transplant? A heart transplant is surgery to remove the diseased heart from a person and replace it with a healthy one from an organ donor. To remove the heart from the donor, two or more healthcare providers must declare the donor brain-dead. Before you can be put on a waiting list for a heart transplant, a healthcare provider makes the decision that this is the best treatment choice for your heart failure. A healthcare team also makes sure you are healthy enough to go ...
Echocardiogram
Echocardiogram 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 sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed on the chest at certain locations and angles, the sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the heart tissues, where the waves bounce or "echo" off of the heart structures. These so...
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac Catheterization What is cardiac catheterization? In cardiac catheterization (often called cardiac cath), a very small, flexible, hollow tube (called a catheter) is put into a blood vessel in the groin, arm, or neck and advanced through the vessel into the aorta and into the heart. Once the catheter is in place, several tests may be done. The tip of the catheter can be placed into various parts of the heart to measure the pressures within the heart chambers. The catheter can also be guided into t...
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair? Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is done to treat an aneurysm. An aneurysm is a bulging, weak spot in the aorta that may be at risk for rupturing. In this case, the aneurysm is in part of the aorta that is in the abdomen. Repair of an AAA may be done in one of two ways: Open repair. For this surgery, a large incision is made in the abdomen to expose the aorta. Once the abdomen is opened, the aneurysm will be repaired wit...
Venogram
Venogram What is a venogram? A venogram is a test that lets your healthcare provider see the veins in your body, especially in your legs. A special dye is injected that can be seen on an X-ray. The dye lets your healthcare provider see your veins and how healthy they are. A venogram is used to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or other abnormalities of your veins. This test can also help your healthcare provider diagnose other health problems. A venogram can be done in several ways: Ascending venograp...
Valvuloplasty
Valvuloplasty What is valvuloplasty? Valvuloplasty may be done to open a stenotic (stiff) heart valve. In valvuloplasty, a very small, narrow, hollow tube (known as a 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 opened, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed. To ke...
Ultrafast CT Scan
Ultrafast CT Scan What is an ultrafast CT scan? An ultrafast CT scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to look at your heart. The scan takes pictures very quickly. It gives your healthcare provider many details about your heart that other imaging tests can’t. Standard X-rays use a small amount of radiation to create images of your bones and internal organs. Standard X-rays are useful to help diagnose illness. But many details about internal organs and other structures can’t be seen. In ...
Tilt Table Procedure
Tilt Table Procedure What is a tilt table procedure? A tilt table procedure is a test done to evaluate symptoms of syncope (fainting). If you have syncope, the doctor will carefully evaluate your past medical history and perform a physical exam. If the results of the exam or history do not show a cause for the syncope, and you have no history of heart disease, then further test may be scheduled. One type of test that may be used to assess syncope is the tilt table procedure. This procedure attempts to c...
Stress Myocardial Perfusion Scan
Stress Myocardial Perfusion Scan What is a stress myocardial perfusion scan? Myocardial perfusion is an imaging test. It's also called a nuclear stress test. It is done to show how well blood flows through the heart muscle. It also shows how well the heart muscle is pumping. For example, after a heart attack, it may be done to find areas of damaged heart muscle. This test may be done during rest and while you exercise. A myocardial perfusion scan uses a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a r...
Right Heart Catheterization
Right Heart Catheterization What is right heart catheterization? Your doctor performs right-heart catheterization (cath) to determine how well your heart is pumping, and to measure the pressures in your heart and lungs. In a right-heart catheterization, your doctor guides a special catheter (a small, hollow tube) called a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter to the right side of your heart. He or she then passes the tube into your pulmonary artery. This is the main artery that carries blood to your lungs. You...
Right Heart Catheterization with Heart Tissue Biopsy
Right Heart Catheterization with Heart Tissue Biopsy 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 your doctor takes tissue samples directly from your heart muscle. Your doctor does this procedure to see if your heart tissue is normal. In a right-heart cath, your doctor guides a special catheter (a small, thin tube), called a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter, into the ri...
Resting Myocardial Perfusion Scan
Resting Myocardial Perfusion Scan What is a myocardial perfusion scan? Myocardial perfusion is an imaging test. It's also called a nuclear stress test. It is done to show how well blood flows through the heart muscle. It also shows how well the heart muscle is pumping. For example, after a heart attack, your doctor may order this test to find areas of damaged heart muscle. This test may be done during rest and while you exercise. A myocardial perfusion scan uses a tiny amount of a radioactive substance,...
Resting Radionuclide Angiogram
Resting Radionuclide Angiogram What is a resting radionuclide angiogram? Resting radionuclide angiogram (RNA) is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a tracer, is used during the scan to help show the heart’s chambers in motion. This test can tell the doctor how well the heart pumps and how much blood is pumped with each heartbeat. This is called the ejection fraction. A radioactive tracer (usually technetium) is injected into an arm vein...
Radionuclide Angiogram, Resting and Exercise
Radionuclide Angiogram, Resting and Exercise What is a resting and exercise radionuclide angiogram (RNA)? A 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 tracer, is used to help show the tissue under study. In this case, the heart's chambers in motion are studied. This test can tell the doctor how well the heart pumps with each heartbeat and how much blood is pumped with each heartbeat (called...
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Heart
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Heart What is MRI of the heart? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a large magnet, radio signals, and a computer to make images of organs and tissue in the body. In this case, the heart is imaged. The MRI machine is large and tube-shaped. It creates a strong magnetic field around the body. Some MRI machines are more open. The magnetic field lines up the hydrogen protons in your body. The radio waves then knock the protons out of position. As they...
Magnetic Resonance Angiography
Magnetic Resonance Angiography What is magnetic resonance angiography? You’ve probably heard about the testing procedure called magnetic resonance imaging or 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 inserting a catheter ...
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery What is heart valve repair or replacement surgery? The heart is a pump made of muscle tissue. The heart has four pumping chambers: two upper chambers, called atria, and two lower chambers, called ventricles. To keep the blood flowing forward during its journey through the heart, there are valves between each of the heart's pumping chambers: Click to expand Tricuspid valve. Located between the right atrium and the right ventricle Pulmonary valve. Located between ...
Exercise Electrocardiogram
Exercise Electrocardiogram What is an exercise electrocardiogram? An electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the simplest and fastest tests used to evaluate the heart. For this test, electrodes (small, plastic patches that stick to the skin) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms, and legs. When the electrodes are connected to an ECG machine by wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, interpreted, and printed out. No electricity is sent into the body. Natural electrical impulses co...
Endovenous Laser Varicose Vein Surgery
Endovenous Laser Varicose Vein Surgery What is endovenous laser varicose vein surgery? Endovenous laser varicose vein surgery is a procedure that uses heat from a laser to reduce varicose veins. Varicose veins are swollen, bulging veins that often happen on the thighs or calves. A laser is a device that sends a thin beam of radiation in the form of light. Laser surgery closes and shrinks the varicose vein and causes scar tissue within the vessel. This seals off the vein. Blood then flows through other n...
Electrophysiological Studies
Electrophysiological Studies What is an electrophysiological study? An electrophysiological study (EP study) is a procedure used to evaluate abnormal heartbeats. Natural electrical impulses coordinate contractions of the different parts of the heart. This helps keep blood flowing the way it should. This movement of the heart creates the heartbeat, or heart rhythm. During an EP study, small, thin wire electrodes are put into a vein in the groin (or neck, in some cases). The wire electrodes are threaded t...
Electrocardiogram
Electrocardiogram What is an electrocardiogram? An electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the simplest and fastest tests used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches that stick to the skin) 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. No electricity is sent into the body. Natural electrical impulses coordinate contractions of the...
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram
Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram What is a dobutamine stress echocardiogram? An echocardiogram (echo) is a test used to assess the heart's function and structures. A stress echocardiogram is a test done to assess how well the heart works under stress. The “stress” can be triggered by either exercise on a treadmill or medication called dobutamine. OCardio_20140303_v0_002 A dobutamine stress echocardiogram (DSE) may be used if you are unable to exercise. Dobutamine is put in a vein and causes the heart to...
CT Scan of the Chest
CT Scan of the Chest What is a CT scan of the chest? CT scan is a type of imaging test. It uses X-ray and computer technology to make detailed pictures of the organs and structures inside your chest. These images are more detailed than regular X-rays. They can give more information about injuries or diseases of the chest organs. In a CT scan, an X-ray beam moves in a circle around your body. It takes many images, called slices, of the lungs and inside the chest. A computer processes these images and dis...
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery What is coronary bypass graft surgery? Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is a procedure used to treat coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the narrowing of the coronary arteries – the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. CAD is caused by a build-up of fatty material within the walls of the arteries. This build-up narrows the inside of the arteries, limiting the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart musc...
Computed Tomography Angiography
Computed Tomography Angiography What is computed tomography angiography? 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 calle...
Chest X-Ray
Chest X-Ray What is a chest X-ray? A chest X-ray is an imaging test that uses X-rays to look at the structures and organs in your chest. It can help your healthcare provider see how well your lungs and heart are working. Certain heart problems can cause changes in your lungs. Certain diseases can cause changes in the structure of the heart or lungs. Chest X-rays can show your healthcare provider the size, shape, and location of the following: Heart Lungs Bronchi Aorta Pulmonary arteries Middle chest are...
Carotid Endarterectomy
Carotid Endarterectomy What is a carotid endarterectomy? Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is a treatment for carotid artery disease. The carotid arteries are the main blood vessels that carry oxygen and blood to the brain. In carotid artery disease, these arteries become narrowed. This reduces blood flow to the brain and could cause a stroke. For a carotid endarterectomy, your doctor will surgically remove plaque that builds up inside the carotid artery. He or she will make an incision on the side of the ne...
Carotid Artery Duplex Scan
Carotid Artery Duplex Scan What is a carotid artery duplex scan? You have 2 carotid arteries in your neck that bring blood from your heart to your brain. The test may also look at the vertebrobasilar artery. This blood vessel also brings blood to your brain. The health care provider uses a device called a transducer to make pictures of the arteries. The transducer sends out sound waves that bounce off your blood vessels. The sound waves are too high-pitched for you to hear. The transducer then picks up ...
Angioplasty and Stent Placement for the Heart
Angioplasty and Stent Placement for the Heart What is angioplasty? Angioplasty, also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is a procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries (caused by coronary artery disease) and restore blood flow to the heart muscle without open-heart surgery. For angioplasty, a special catheter (a long, thin, hollow tube) is inserted into a blood vessel and guided to the blocked coronary artery. The catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip. Once the catheter is in place,...
Amputation
Amputation What is amputation? Amputation is surgery to remove all or part of an arm or leg. It may be done to treat injury, disease, or infection. It may also be done to remove tumors from bones and muscles. Why might I need an amputation? The most common reason for amputation is poor blood flow. This happens when arteries become narrowed or damaged. When this occurs in the arms or legs, it’s called peripheral arterial disease or PAD. PAD most often occurs between the ages of 50 to 75. It usually resul...
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Insertion
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Insertion What is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator? An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small electronic device connected to the heart. It is used to continuously monitor and help regulate potentially fast and life-threatening electrical problems with the heart. The ICD, about the size of a stopwatch, is implanted under the skin just below the collarbone. It consists of a pulse generator and wires, called leads. The pulse generator c...
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) test used to see how well the heart is working. An exercise echocardiogram is done to assess the heart's response to stress or exercise and compare the results to when the heart is at rest. During the procedure, a transducer (like a microphone) sends out high-frequency sound waves. When the transducer is placed on the c...
Catheter Ablation
Catheter Ablation An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. If you have an arrhythmia, your healthcare provider may recommend a procedure called catheter ablation. It can improve or even cure your condition. What is catheter ablation? This procedure guides a wire into your heart to destroy small areas of heart tissue that may be causing your abnormal heartbeat. Heat (radiofrequency) or cold energy (cryoablation) are the 2 most common ways to destroy abnormal heart tissue. It ...
Blood Test
Blood Test A blood test is a lab analysis of the elements in your blood. 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. They are also ordered during routine checkups and sick visits. Blood test are ordered by healthcare providers to help: Find out how well important organs such as your kidneys, liver, heart, or thyroid are working. Help diagnose diseases such as cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, an...
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...