While some cardiac issues can be treated with medication, some may need to be solved with a more invasive approach, such as surgery or an intervention.
Intervention means this—physicians use a small incision to open an artery and with careful precision, they thread small catheters through the vessel to remove blockages and/or perform repairs. Every step of the way they watch their progress using live imaging or fluoroscopy. Most of these procedures take place in the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale cardiac catheterization lab.
For the patient, this means a noticeable result with much less recovery time and pain. Vessels have no nerve endings, so the procedures are considerably less painful than an open surgery.
Interventions are the primary means used to stop a heart attack while it’s happening and has become one of the primary procedures to prevent one. For a cardiac intervention, doctors thread the catheter from an artery in the upper thigh to the heart. There, they can use angioplasty to open the vessel and place a stent if need be.
Open Heart Surgery
Some issues can only be treated with open heart surgery and Memorial Hospital of Carbondale has celebrated much success with their surgical program. Having been a part of the team since 2001, staff members are some of the most experienced around.
When a blockage happens in an area of the heart too difficult to reach by intervention, you may need to have a bypass surgery. During this four-five hour surgery, surgeons use a vein (often from the leg), to create a bypass around the blocked arteries.
Repairing valves within the heart also takes the skill of a cardiovascular surgeon. In the heart’s complex operating system, sometimes the parts just don’t work together properly. Valves can often be repaired, but sometimes require replacement altogether.
Other cardiovascular surgeries include:
- Removing blockages in the carotid (neck) arteries
- Solutions for atrial fibrillation
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair