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How we’re preventing heart attacks

Fast, effective treatment to prevent heart attack

We perform a variety of procedures in our cardiac cath lab—including these common ones:

Cardiac catheterization*

Cardiac catheterization is an imaging test that allows the physician to see the precise location and extent of blockages or problems in the blood vessels—making it possible to assess heart and coronary artery health.

A catheter, or thin flexible tube, is inserted into a blood vessel and used to take pictures of the arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine. Patients are given a mild sedative to help them relax and experience minimal pain with the procedure—which typically takes less than an hour. With prep and recovery time, however, patients generally stay in the hospital for a portion or all of a day.

Cardiac catheterization is a highly successful procedure, with less than a one percent risk of complications. Your physician can explain the risks to you.

*also referred to as cardiac cath, heart catheterization, coronary angiogram or arteriogram

Angioplasty and Stents

When a patient is diagnosed with blocked blood vessels, we can perform a variety of procedures designed to open arteries and improve blood flow to the heart—thereby preventing or stopping heart attack in its tracks. This can occur either immediately upon completing the diagnostic test, or later, depending on the severity of the disease.

Before this procedure became available, open heart surgery was the means of treating blocked vessels. Today, these noninvasive procedures do not require a large incision and provide a highly effective treatment that allows patients rapid recovery and prevents further heart damage. They include:

  • Balloon angioplasty (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) - This procedure uses a catheter to insert a tiny balloon into the vessel which widens the narrowed or blocked arteries, improving blood flow.
  • Stent - Often, a stent—a small metal tube—is inserted permanently to keep the diseased blood vessel open and restore blood flow.
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