Cairns Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Interventional Cardiology Procedures in the Cath Lab

Interventional Cardiology Procedures in the Cath Lab

Diagnostic and interventional treatments offered at Cairns Private Hospital for coronary artery disease and abnormal heart rhythms include:

An angiogram provides valuable information for the ongoing management of a patient’s health. An angiogram is the procedure of introducing a fine plastic tube (catheter) into an artery and then injecting a dye into the bloodstream. The x-ray pictures taken during this procedure are used to provide information to your doctor regarding the arteries to your heart. Most angiograms are performed using a local anaesthetic.

Your cardiologist will then tell you if your coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, and can then advise you of your treatment options.

Blood flow to a narrowed area of your artery may be improved by stretching open the narrowing with a small cylindrical balloon. The balloon is position across the narrowed area of the artery, and when inflated the balloon stretches the artery wall and compresses the fatty plaque/ cholesterol.

Once the narrowing has been widened, a stent is usually inserted. A stent is a very fine mesh cylinder usually composed of stainless steel or cobalt. The stent then acts as a metal scaffolding to support that section or artery. Once the stent has been positioned, it cannot be moved or removed and over time the stent will become embedded in the artery wall.

Following a PTCA/stenting procedure, it is current practice for most patients to remain monitored in hospital overnight.

At all times, please do not hesitate to ask questions about your procedure or your hospitalisation. Not all coronary artery narrowings are suitable for angioplasty. Some lesions (narrowings) diagnosed during angiography may best be treated medically and others may best be treated surgically, that is, by coronary artery bypass grafting. Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you and explain the reasons for his/her recommendations.

A minimally invasive procedure that assesses the electrical activity and conduction pathways of the heart

Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure to cure rapid heart rhythms (tachycardia) in the heart. Abnormal electrical pathways are usually the cause.

This is a procedure where the surgeon will repair an Aneurysm in the Abdominal or Thoracic Aorta via the femoral arteries. It is much less invasive than a surgical repair

This procedure is done to measure pressures in the right side of the heart and lungs, determine your cardiac output and measure oxygen levels in and around your heart.

A special catheter is inserted into a vein, usually in your groin. The catheter is then positioned in your right ventricle. Under x-ray guidance, your doctor uses the biopsy catheter to take tissue samples, usually from your right ventricle. The tiny pieces of heart tissue are sent to the lab for examination under a microscope and a biopsy may be done to: biopsy may be done to diagnose the cause of heart failure or heart disease, such as dilated cardiomyopathy. This is caused by a bacterial or viral infection. The procedure can also diagnose restrictive cardiomyopathy, caused by many different pathological processes. Knowing the cause of heart failure can help to determine the treatment plan.

A pacemaker is implanted to treat an abnormally slow heart rate. Pacemakers can also adjust the heart rate to meet the body’s needs, whether during exercise or rest. Implantation of a pacemaker involves positioning leads (thin, insulated wires) in the heart and placing the device in a pocket of the skin, usually in the shoulder area. In 2017 North Shore Private Hospital implanted its first leadless pacemaker.

An ICD is a device that helps correct fast and slow heart rates as it assists the heart to pump more effectively by coordinating the left and right ventricular contractions. It is also designed to deliver an electrical shock to the heart to restore extremely rapid and irregular heart rate to a normal rhythm.

A TOE is a procedure that looks at the heart chambers and valves using ultrasound. The probe is passed through the mouth and into the oesophagus. This is always done under anaesthetic or heavy sedation.

An ICD is a battery-powered device placed under the skin that keeps track of your heart rate. Thin wires connect the ICD to your heart. If an abnormal heart rhythm is detected the device will deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat if your heart is beating chaotically and much too fast.

Cardioversion is a process that involves applying electrical energy to the heart in an effort to shock the heart out of AF. In an external cardioversion you are given a medicine to help you relax then external paddles are placed on your chest or back. An electrical shock is sent through the paddles and travels through to the heart.

A loop recorder is a small device that is inserted to allow the monitoring of your heart’s rhythm. When a patient becomes light headed or feels palpitations they can activate the loop recorder to record their heart rhythm at the time. This allows your cardiologist to review and interpret the rhythm and decide upon the best management plan for your condition.