Cardiac Cath Lab
The Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Hendrick Medical Center provides advanced technology for the diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular conditions. Equipped with three cardiac and endovascular labs and one electrophysiology/cardiac and endovascular lab, the Hendrick Medical Center Cardiac Catheterization Lab performs more than 1,500 interventional procedures a year.
All of our catheterization and electrophysiology labs are equipped with advanced technology, including digital subtraction imaging, intravascular ultrasound and coronary flow wire, all of which enhance accuracy and accessibility of data for physicians caring for our patients. All four of our labs are specifically dedicated to the treatment and diagnosis of vascular disease. Each lab features advanced image quality and radiation-lowering equipment for patient and staff safety.
Known throughout the Big Country as a quality hospital for treatment of heart attacks, our hospital is chest pain center accredited. You know you are in good hands with us, as we bring years of experience to your care.
We have programs in place that provide urgent access directly to our cardiac catheterization labs 24 hours daily. In 2009, we achieved the national goal of an open artery within 90 minutes of arrival to our facility.
At Hendrick Medical Center, we have access to the advanced generation of all interventional devices including cardiac, carotid, and vascular stents, which means you are being treated with quality technology that is available for your care.
How the test is performed
Interventional cardiology diagnoses and treats heart conditions using minimally invasive techniques often involving catheters, which are small, flexible tubes inserted into the body. The catheter is carefully threaded into the heart using an x-ray machine that produces real-time images (fluoroscopy). Once the catheter is in place, contrast material is injected and images of your heart are taken.
Angioplasty, also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), is a procedure in which a narrowed section of a coronary artery is widened with a balloon catheter. In most cases a stent is placed at the same time. With these techniques, the physicians on the medical staff at Hendrick Medical Center can often achieve results similar to those of more invasive methods like open surgery, while minimizing pain, recovery time, and complications. Our services include:
- Advanced generation of stents. Over time, the design and functionality of stents have improved.
- Carotid stenting. Stents, slender metal-mesh tubes that fit inside an artery to keep it open and allow blood to flow past blockages, can be used in the carotid arteries. Through this procedure, we are often able to prevent stroke.
- Coronary angioplasty and stenting. This procedure is designed to re-open a blocked artery in the heart. A tiny balloon is inflated and deflated within the artery, to compress plaque buildup and improve blood flow.
- Coronary atherectomy. This refers to the removal of plaque from a heart artery via a specially equipped catheter.
- Peripheral angiography and angioplasty. During angiography, physicians inject dye through a catheter that allows them to create x-ray images of blood vessels to identify blockages. This can be done on peripheral arteries in the arms or legs. Angioplasty is sometimes a next step, if narrowing or blockages are apparent.
- Peripheral atherectomy. This is the removal of plaque from an artery in the leg via a catheter.
Cardiac arrhythmias are disturbances in the rate or rhythm of the heart's electrical system. These disturbances can range from inconvenient to life-threatening. Our electrophysiology department specializes in electrical conduction in the heart. The Electrophysiology Lab has a physician on the medical staff who is board-certified in cardiology and clinical electrophysiology and who practices in our advanced electrophysiology lab. The team of specially trained electrophysiology nurses will work with the electrophysiologist to provide you quality care. We diagnose the full spectrum of heart rhythm abnormalities, including but not limited to atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. We offer proven diagnostic and treatment options for cardiac arrhythmias.
Heart rhythm management services we provide include:
- Pacemaker (heart beats too slow)
- Defibrillator (heart beats too fast)
- Heart failure device (for dysynchronous ventricles)
- Implantable loop recorder
An arrhythmia is simply a disruption in the heart's electrical system. Types of arrhythmias include tachycardia (your heart beats too fast), and bradycardia (your heart beats too slowly). The electrophysiologist on our medical staff diagnoses and treats the full range of heart rhythm disorders, including:
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT): This is an umbrella term for any rapid rate originating above the ventricles. SVTs include:
- Atrial flutter, which is like atrial fibrillation, but results in a regular heart rhythm. The atria beat faster than the ventricles. The result is the same as atrial fibrillation: the heart's ability to function as a pump is impaired.
- Atrioventricular node reentry tachycardia (AV nodal reentry tachycardia or AVNRT) is an arrhythmia that occurs because of an extra pathway through the atrioventricular (AV) node. This results in a signal that continuously circulates, which is called reentry and can lead to a very fast heart rate.
- Atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT), like AVNRT, causes an electrical signal to travel in a circular pattern from the ventricles to the atria, but circumvents the AV node. This extra pathway is called an accessory pathway.
- Atrial tachycardia. Atrial tachycardia is a rapid heartbeat (100 beats per minute or more) that originates in the atria.
- Ventricular tachycardia: This is a rapid heart rate that is derived from the ventricles. A fast heart rate may impair the heart's ability to function as a pump.
- Ventricular fibrillation: Ventricular fibrillation is a rapid, uncontrolled beating of the heart that causes the heart to quiver rather than beat and pump blood. Ventricular fibrillation is considered a medical emergency because it can cause the heart to stop beating immediately, causing sudden cardiac death.
- Evaluation of syncope: Syncope (fainting) can be diagnosed by using tilt table testing.
- Cardiac ablation: Cardiac ablation is an invasive procedure that uses specially designed catheters (tubes) that can be manipulated by an electrophysiologist to ablate (neutralize) cells causing the arrhythmia. The energy source for ablation most often uses radiofrequency (RF) energy. Ablation has proven to be safe and effective in the treatment of arrhythmia, such as SVT and ventricular tachycardia.
- Implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs): ICDs are used to treat ventricular arrhythmia. These devices work by delivering a shock directly to the heart when the rate is too fast.
- Pacemakers: Pacemakers are used to treat bradycardia (slow heart rate); the device paces the heart to an adequate level.
- Cardiac resynchronization device: Used for heart failure management, a cardiac resynchronization device is a special pacemaker with the option of a defibrillator that paces both sides of the heart, thus resynchronizing the cardiac muscle contraction to optimize your heart's pumping function.