When heart disease is diagnosed, open-heart surgery may not always be the answer. A cardiologist may correct the problem with little or no incision and a brief hospital stay.
The following procedures are performed in the Baptist Heart Center cardiac catheterization laboratory:
* Stents. To keep arteries open, a small tube (stent) is inserted into a coronary artery through a small incision in the groin and then expanded to support the arterial walls. The stent remains in place permanently to hold the artery open.
* Angioplasty. Angioplasty involves inserting a balloon catheter into a small incision in the groin or arm to open arteries narrowed by plaque. When the catheter reaches the narrowed area of the coronary artery, the balloon is slowly inflated, squeezing the plaque against the artery wall. Once the artery has been opened enough to allow blood to flow through, the balloon is deflated, and the catheter is removed.
* Pacemakers. Used to restore normal heart rhythm, a pacemaker may be temporary or permanent. Western Baptist was first in the region to introduce a wireless defibrillator, a pacemaker that also functions as a defibrillator for those with congestive heart failure.
* Atherectomy. A procedure to remove arterial plaque, it uses a laser catheter or a rotating shaver device on the end of a catheter. The catheter is inserted into the body and advanced through an artery to the area of narrowing.
* Rotoblation. This procedure uses a special device with a rotating blade to shave the fatty tissue off the clogged artery wall and is similar to balloon and laser angioplasty.
Sometimes, open heart surgery is required to correct heart conditions. Read the June 25 edition of HeartBeat to find out more.
How can I learn more ?
To learn more about the risk factors, symptoms and treatment for heart disease, visit westernbaptist.com/heart. You can take a free, five-minute online heart risk survey and become eligible for reduced-cost cardiac screenings at Baptist Prime Care. You also may phone Baptist Health Line at (270) 575-2918.
Send your questions!
Do you have a cardiac question tugging at your heart? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to HeartBeat, 2501 Kentucky Ave., Paducah, KY 42003. If we use it in a future HeartBeat column, you will win a Baptist Heart Center T-shirt.