The Cardiology Department provides cardiac diagnosis and treatment to adults. Among the comprehensive services offered are cardiac catheterization, primary angioplasty with emergency or elective placement of coronary stents for acute myocardial infarction, intra-aortic balloon insertion, pulmonary artery catheter insertion, temporary and permanent pacemaker insertion, transesophageal echocardiography, cardioversion, electrophysiology studies, ICD device placement checks and tilt table studies.
Interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, interventional radiologists, nurses and vascular surgeons practice side by side, providing coordinated care for cardiac patients.
Staff is responsible for the continuity, development and implementation of the patient's plan of care. Interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, interventional radiologists, nurses and vascular surgeons practice side by side, providing more comprehensive care for cardiac patients.
To provide advanced patient care, the newly expanded state-of-the-art catheterization laboratory is comprised of entirely digital imaging equipment allowing for greater image quality during procedures. An enhanced electrophysiology service, digitalized cardiac ultrasound reporting access and a planned EKG management system, as well as an eight-bed pre- procedure and sixteen bed post-procedure holding rooms, will define the continuum of care available.
(For Pediatric patients: The Center for Pediatric Specialty Care)
Elective Angioplasty – A Matter of the Heart
An echocardiogram is a sound wave picture that records the movement of the heart valves and chamber walls. It can be useful in finding and evaluating abnormal heart valves, chamber enlargement, abnormal openings between chambers, changes in the fluid level in the sac around the heart and other abnormalities.
Electrocardiography (EKG or ECG):
A record of the electrical activity of the heart, the ECG provides important information concerning damage, abnormalities and the effects of drugs or devices to the different parts of the heart. It is of value in diagnosing cases of abnormal cardiac rhythm and heart disease.
An electrophysiology study is a test that records the electrical activity and electrical pathways of the heart. It can uncover the cause of any irregular heart rhythm and help determine the best treatment options.
A portable cardiac Holter monitor affords physicians the ability to monitor adults who may have abnormalities of the heart's rhythm. Such abnormalities can make a person faint, feel nauseated or have a seizure. The individual wears the device around his/her waist or hip with EKG leads applied to the chest area. As the person resumes normal activities, information registers on the monitor. This enables 24-hour monitoring either at home or in the hospital. The physician is then able to analyze the results.
Nuclear scanning involves a special type of X-ray in which a small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein. As the radioactive material moves through the heart chambers and/or heart muscle, a nuclear scanning camera records images providing important information on damage and heart health.
Thallium Stress Test:
While exercise is performed, radioactive material called thallium circulates to the heart. A camera records blood flow through the heart. If your doctor has scheduled a thallium stress test, he or she is looking for more detailed information about the flow of blood to your heart and your body's response to monitored exercise.
Also called a treadmill or exercise tolerance test, this exam by a cardiologist records the patient's cardiovascular response to exercise heart rate, blood pressure and EKG readings. During the test, you'll walk on a treadmill at gradually increasing speeds and angle of incline. The test helps determine how fit and safe exercise is for an individual, or whether a heart problem exists. A stress test can reveal problems that may not appear at rest.
Tilt Table Testing:
A simple test that helps the doctor pinpoint the cause of fainting, this exam checks how changes in body position can affect blood pressure. The patient is placed on a table that is slowly tilted upwards. The test tries to re-create fainting symptoms, while blood pressure and heart rate are monitored.
Invasive Adult Diagnostic Testing and Procedures:
Cardiac Catheterization/Electrophysiologic Laboratory:
A thin catheter (tube) is inserted through an artery or vein, usually in an arm or leg, and advanced into the major vessels and heart chambers. To reach the right side of the heart, the physician inserts the catheter into a vein; to reach the left side, it is inserted into an artery. Catheters can be placed in the heart either for diagnosis or for treatment. The person receives local anesthesia before the procedure.
A controlled electrical shock to the heart to correct an irregular rhythm. The patient is sedated, while being monitored very carefully by a doctor or a registered nurse.
Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) Device Placement Checks:
An ICD is a small electronic device placed permanently inside your body. The ICD continually monitors your heart rhythm. If it senses your heart beating too fast, the ICD can pace the heart to slow down the heart rhythm. If necessary, the ICD can send out one or more electric shocks to return the heart to normal rhythm. Generally, after the device is implanted, the electrophysiologist will check the device before the patient goes home. The patient is moderately sedated and monitored by a registered nurse while the physician implants the ICD and makes adjustments as needed for that specific patient.
Intra-Aortic Balloon Insertion:
A catheter with a large balloon is placed in the patient's aorta by a cardiologist. The timed inflation and deflation of this large helium-filled balloon facilitates filling of the coronary arteries and emptying blood from the left ventricle.
Pacemaker Insertion (Temporary or Permanent):
A pacemaker helps treat a slow heart rhythm. It is a small, lightweight electronic device that is placed permanently inside your body. A pacemaker keeps track of your heartbeat and, when necessary, generates electrical signals similar to the heart's natural signals. These signals keep the heart beating at the correct speed.
Primary Angioplasty (With Emergent or Elective Placement of Coronary Stents for Acute Myocardial Infarction):
After a diagnostic catheterization identifies a blocked artery, the interventional cardiologist passes a catheter from the patient's groin up to the coronary artery. A guide wire is threaded through the catheter past the point of the blockage. The artery is opened with a balloon, restoring blood flow. A stent may be inserted to hold the artery open. Post-intervention, the patient recovers in the cardiac care unit or may be transferred to a tertiary care facility, if appropriate. This procedure can be performed on an elective, or emergency, basis.
Pulmonary Artery Catheter Insertion:
A small catheter is placed in a major vein. This catheter is able to measure pressures in the right side of the heart.
Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE):
A diagnostic test using an ultrasound device that is passed into the esophagus of the patient, to create a clear image of the heart muscle and other parts of the heart. A tube with a device called a transducer is passed into the patient's throat and the esophagus (the food tube that connects the mouth and the stomach). The transducer directs ultrasound waves in the heart, and the reflected sound waves, picked up by the transducer, are translated into an image of the heart. A TEE usually lasts approximately 30-60 minutes.
Hours of Operation: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
For further information, call the Physician and Health Referral Line at (631) 376-4444.