Catheter ablation is a procedure which uses special wires that are advanced into the heart to give treatment to abnormal electrical impulses that cause heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). In people who experience atrial fibrillation, the treatment is directed around the pulmonary veins (blood vessels bringing blood back from the lungs to the heart) where they connect to the left atrium (left top chamber of the heart).
Coronary Angioplasty and Stenting
Angioplasty describes a procedure where a small balloon unblocks an artery by pushing cholesterol plaque aside to improve blood flow. Typically, insertion of a stent also occurs during the same procedure. Stents are primarily made of marine grade stainless steel formed into a mesh. Different diameters, lengths and designs of stents are available for varied circumstances. The balloon inflates at high pressurewithin the artery and deploys the stent, which acts like scaffolding for the artery.
Once in place, it is not removable and cannot collapse.
Defribrillator Implants (ICD)
An implantable cardio-defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device that prevents your heart from beating too quickly. This fast heart beat usually arises from an abnormal heart rhythm called a 'tachyarrhythmia'. The ICD consists of two parts: a generator (battery) and one or more electrodes (wires). In a life threatening situation, these electrodes can correct fast heart rhythms by carrying electrical impulses or even an electrical shock from the generator to your heart. Modern ICD devices can also act as a standard pacemaker to stop your heart beating too slowly.
Echocardiography, often called an 'echo', uses sound waves to produce an image of your heart. Your heart muscle, valves, large blood vessels and blood flow can be assessed in great detail. Echocardiography can also provide your cardiologist with information about the blood pressures within the chambers of the heart and lungs.
Stress echocardiography assesses the likelihood that you have significant narrowings in your heart arteries. By comparing your heart function before and after exercise using echocardiography, your cardiologist can infer whether enough blood is getting to your heart or if a narrowing is restricting this supply. Usually, we stress your heart with exercise although, for patients who are unable to exercise, a drug called dobutamine is used instead of exercise. This drug is infused through a vein in your arm. This variant of stress echocardiography is called 'dobutamine stress echocardiography'.
To read more please visit one of our heart care websites.