Greenwich Hospital's interventional cardiologists are experts in non-surgical diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. With access to the most advanced technology in the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab, the cardiology team performs a full range of interventional cardiac procedures. These include:
- Emergency Angioplasty. During angioplasty, blood flow to the heart is restored by inserting and inflating a balloon-tipped catheter through the groin and into a blocked artery. A stent (small wire cage) may be inserted to keep the artery open. By quickly restoring blood flow, damage to the heart is minimized.
- Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization. This test is used to diagnose and treat heart conditions. A flexible tube, or catheter, is inserted into a blood vessel through the arm, groin or neck and threaded to the heart. Through the catheter, doctors can perform diagnostic tests and treatments. Dye may be injected into the catheter so that an X-ray can be used to see whether plaque has narrowed or blocked any arteries. An ultrasound catheter may be inserted inside the heart artery so the vessel can be seen from the inside.
- Electrophysiology (EP) Studies. This procedure records the electrical activity and electrical pathways of the heart to determine the cause of arrhythmias (heart rhythm disturbances). During an EP study, a flexible tube, or catheter, is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin and threaded into the heart. An X-ray is used to guide the catheter. Once in the heart, electrical signals are sent through the catheter to evaluate the electrical conduction system within the heart muscle tissue.
- Pacemaker. This small electronic device is implanted in the chest (just below the collarbone) to help regulate electrical problems within the heart. When a problem develops, such as a slow heart rate, a pacemaker may be recommended to help the heart beat at a normal speed. Pacemaker insertion is usually done on an outpatient basis with moderate sedation and local anesthetic..
- Defibrillators. An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is an electronic device that helps regulate electrical problems with the heart. Implanted just below the collarbone, the ICD monitors the heart's electrical activity. In the case of an irregular heartbeat, it will respond with either anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) or shock therapy to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. An ICD can also record and store information about your heart rhythm and any therapies the ICD has delivered for your physician to review.