About Your CV Procedure

Your cardiologist may order a cardiovascular procedure to further evaluate or treat your condition. Some of these procedures are performed at CVA’s Main Campus, others are performed at the Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, Grandview medical center, or Coosa Valley Medical Center.

Information about some common cardiovascular procedures is listed below. Your physician or a member of our staff will provide you with procedure instructions.

Click the title to view the details of the various procedures listed below.

Angioplasty/Stenting (Percutaneous coronary angioplasty – PTCA)

This procedure is performed to open coronary arteries that have become blocked as a result of coronary artery disease. A catheter with a balloon tip is guided into the coronary artery and the balloon is inflated to compress fatty tissue and allow blood to flow more easily. A stent may be placed to allow the artery to stay open permanently.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Recovery time: 1 week
Possible Side Effects: bleeding, abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack, stroke, need for emergency surgery, death

Atherectomy

A procedure performed to remove plaque from arteries to allow blood to flow more easily. A catheter with a bladed tip or laser tip is guided into the coronary artery to shave or vaporize the plaque. This procedure may be used to treat patients with especially hard plaque or those who have previously had angioplasty but are still experiencing blockages. Once the plaque has been removed, a stent may be placed to keep the artery open permanently.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Recovery time: 1-2 days
Possible Side Effects: bleeding, abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack, stroke, need for emergency surgery, death

Biventricular Pacing

Also called cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), during this procedure a biventricular pacemaker (or CRT pacing device) is surgically implanted to help treat irregular heart rhythms in heart failure patients. A pacemaker fires low-energy electrical impulses to the heart muscle that force it to contract and makes the chambers pump together, improving cardiac function.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 90 minutes
Recovery time: overnight hospitalization
Possible Side Effects: none

Cardiac Defibrillator Implantation (AICD)

During this procedure an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is surgically implanted into the chest to monitor heart rhythm and deliver extra beats or electrical shocks when needed. It is capable of providing high-energy electrical pulses to treat dangerous conditions and can be programmed according to the type of therapy you need. This device is typically used in patients who have ventricular tachycardia or arrhythmia or patients who have survived a cardiac arrest.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 2 hours
Recovery time: overnight hospitalization
Possible Side Effects: bleeding, punctured heart or lung

Cardioversion

A procedure that delivers a therapeutic dose of electric current to the heart in order to convert heart rhythm back to normal.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 10 minutes
Recovery time: 2 hours
Possible Side Effects: Stroke, chest burn

Carotid Stenting

Also called carotid artery stenting (CAS), this procedure treats patients with carotid artery disease (or carotid artery stenosis). This condition occurs when the carotid arteries become narrowed and cannot carry enough oxygenated blood to the brain to help it function properly. A catheter with a balloon tip is inserted into the carotid artery and the balloon is inflated to dilate the narrowed artery. A stent is then inserted to keep the artery from narrowing again.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 1-2 hours
Recovery time: a few days
Possible Side Effects: stroke

Pacemaker Implantation

Used to treat arrhythmias, a pacemaker is a small device that’s placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. This device uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate and is placed under the skin in the upper chest just below the collar bone. The pacer wires, called leads, go through the vein under the collarbone and are placed inside the heart.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Recovery time: overnight hospitalization
Possible Side Effects: pain, swelling, or tenderness in the area

Patent Foramen Ovale Closure

Using cardiac catheterization, a device that plugs the patent foramen ovale in the heart is inserted into a vein in the groin and placed in the heart with the imaging assistance of an echocardiogram. Over time, heart tissue grows over the implant, and it becomes part of the heart, correcting the defect.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 1 hour
Recovery time: overnight hospitalization
Possible side effects: tear of the heart or blood vessels, dislodgement of the device, or the development of irregular heartbeats.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Also known as cardiac ablation; a non-surgical procedure that can be used to treat heart rhythm issues such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and atrial tachycardia. A catheter with an electrode tip is guided into the heart muscle and a radiofrequency energy is emitted to destroy tissue in the area conducting the impulses and causing rapid heartbeats.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: 3-6 hours
Recovery time: 2-4 days
Possible Side Effects: soreness, skin burn, nerve damage

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Also called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI); a minimally invasive surgical procedure that repairs the valve by wedging a replacement valve into the damaged aortic valve’s place. This is an alternative to an open-heart procedure and is performed by entering through the vein in groin or between two ribs.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes
Estimated length of study: typically 3-6 hours
Recovery time: 3-5 days hospitalization
Possible side effects: bleeding, heart attack, stroke, or death

Vein Ablation

Also called endovenous thermal ablation; a minimally invasive treatment that involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a diseased vein to seal it shut using heat. Blood that would normally return toward the heart through these veins will then travel through other veins instead. Over time the treated vein shrinks and is absorbed by the body.

IV needed: yes
Sedation provided: yes, if needed
Estimated length of study: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Recovery time: 30 minutes
Possible Side Effects: bruising, swelling, pain in affected area

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