Because heart disease includes a variety of complex disease processes, the Parkview Heart Institute offers a range of treatment options.
Anticoagulant drugs are part of a lifesaving daily routine for some heart patients. To make certain the drug is working correctly and effectively, the Anticoagulation Therapy Unit at the Parkview Heart Institute does simple finger-sticks to make certain the prescribed dosage is appropriately assisting the patient. The results are available within a few minutes so that adjustments can be made instantly.
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)
With the patient sedated, pads are applied to the chest and an electrical impulse is delivered to correct some types of abnormal heart rhythm.
A pacemaker is a battery-operated device that helps maintain a normal heart rhythm. It sends electrical signals to the heart to stimulate contraction or pumping of the heart muscle. It is designed for patients who have irregular or very slow heart rates and symptoms of fainting or fatigue. The rate is set by the cardiologist. The pacemaker generator is placed under the skin on the chest wall below the collarbone. It contains wires (leads) which are positioned inside the heart and transmit the signal from the battery to the heart.
Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICD)
An ICD is a computerized device implanted in the abdominal wall. It detects and generates electrical impulses through leads placed on or in the heart that sense a cardiac disturbance such as the onset of a recurrent heart attack or heart failure (tachycardia or fibrillation). The primary purpose of the ICD is to deliver a counter-shock to the heart in order to stabilize and resuscitate the patient's normal heart rhythm.
Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization
A diagnostic cardiac catheterization, also called coronary angiography or heart catheterization, is a procedure that provides detailed information about the function of the heart and its arteries. By combining information from blood tests and other diagnostic tests with a cardiac catheterization procedure, doctors can accurately diagnose a heart condition and develop the most effective treatment plan.
Coronary Balloon Angioplasty/Stent/Coronary Intervention
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or balloon angioplasty, is a procedure used to open narrowed coronary arteries. It is performed as a scheduled procedure or during a heart attack with a local anesthesia while the patient is awake. Patients whose angina has not been relieved by medications are generally the best candidates for PTCA. Physicians can either compress plaque buildup on the artery walls, or use a small metal stent to widen obstructed arteries.
The time between a patient's arrival at the hospital and first balloon inflation is known as the "door-to-balloon time." Any delay in door-to-balloon time for heart attack patients undergoing balloon angioplasty is associated with higher mortality. The current national target is 90 minutes. Parkview Hospital’s average time is 52 minutes.
The stent is a stainless steel device (scaffold) which compresses the plaque, similar to the coronary balloon angioplasty procedure. Doctors implant the stent by guiding a thin, balloon-tipped catheter through the artery to the blockage. The collapsed stent is part of the catheter tip, and when the balloon is inflated the stent expands into place allowing the flow of blood once again through the coronary arteries. After a couple of weeks tissue forms around the stent and it becomes a permanent support for the artery.
Congestive Heart Failure Unit