Fast action is the best way to beat a heart attack — and prevent or limit damage to precious heart muscle. Several interventional procedures performed by doctors at TriStar Southern Hills Heart Center can stop a heart attack before it starts.
Coronary angioplasty is a non-surgical treatment for blocked or narrowed passages in one or more of the coronary arteries. This procedure allows a normal supply of blood to flow through the heart muscle.
Angioplasty can be done in one of several ways, depending on the type of plaque (fatty deposits) blocking the artery and the size and shape of the artery. One common way is a balloon angioplasty, in which doctors insert a deflated balloon attached to a catheter into a blocked artery. Once the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated to push plaque to the artery walls, thus increasing blood flow.
Following a balloon angioplasty, the doctor will often insert a stent into the widened artery to reduce the chance of immediate re-narrowing. Stents are wire mesh tubes that form a scaffold to support the walls of your arteries. They can be used following angioplasty or on their own to prevent blockages, increase blood flow and decrease chest pain.
Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization - Angiograms or x-rays of the inside of heart vessels are performed in the Cardiac Catheterization or Cath Lab. If blocked vessels are found, they can often be treated while in the lab.
Electrocardiography (EKGs) and Holter Monitoring Studies - In and outpatient services include routine and emergency electrocardiogram tracings and other monitoring devices.
Nuclear Medicine Studies – A contrast agent is used to help physicians see the function and efficiency of the heart.
Echocardiogram – Sound waves are used to evaluate the structure and functioning of the valves and chambers of the heart.
Treadmill Testing – Helps a doctor find out how well your heart handles work. As your body works harder during the test, it requires more oxygen, so the heart must pump more blood. The test can show if the blood supply is reduced in the arteries that supply the heart. It also helps doctors know the kind and level of exercise appropriate for a patient. Heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, electrocardiogram (e-lek"tro-KAR'de-o-gram) (ECG or EKG), and how tired you feel are monitored during the test.
Angioplasty - Angioplasty is a general term for minimally invasive procedures used to clear blocked blood vessels. The most common procedure, balloon angioplasty, involves a catheter with a balloon on the end. The catheter is threaded through a vein up to the clogged blood vessel where it is then inflated. This reshapes the inside of the artery to allow blood to flow more easily. To prevent these areas from eventually deflating, doctors often use stents, metal coils that spring open, to keep the artery from closing.
Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory – Procedures performed in this lab include angioplasties, and stent placements.
Cardiac Monitoring – TriStar Southern Hills patients benefit from continuous cardiac monitoring either by telemetry (radio waves) or directly (hard wired).
As our understanding of heart disease grows, so does our comprehension of risk factors and prevention. There are major risk factors which research has shown are definitely associated with increases in heart disease such as increased age, heredity, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and physical inactivity. Men and postmenopausal women are at greater risk.
There are also contributing risk factors, which are less precisely understood such as stress, obesity and socioeconomic status. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance he or she will develop cardiovascular disease. Among the services TriStar Southern Hills provides for helping people manage their risk factors and prevent heart disease and stroke are:
Risk Assessments - You can receive a printable version by calling TriStar MedLine at 615-342-1919 or 1-800-242-5662.
Screenings – Angioscreenings, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings are offered numerous times throughout the year.
For more information on classes and screenings, call TriStar MedLineSM at 615-342-1919 or 800-242-5662