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Interventional cardiology

Interventional procedures

Interventional procedures performed in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at White Plains Hospital include:

Diagnostic coronary angiogram

This nonsurgical procedure evaluates patients with chest pain and shortness of breath, measures heart function, and examines narrowed or leaking heart valves. During the procedure, a narrow catheter is inserted through a tiny incision at the right elbow or either side of the groin and threaded through the blood vessels and into the heart under x-ray guidance. Dye is injected to detect blockages or other abnormalities.

Elective and emergency angioplasty

Angioplasty is now available in both of our cardiac cath labs. If an angiogram indicates one or more blockages in the coronary arteries, doctors may perform an angioplasty to reopen them. During the procedure, also known as PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty), a tiny balloon is inserted through the catheter and then inflated, flattening the plaque that has accumulated and opening up the artery. The interventional cardiologist may then place a stent, a tiny mesh-like device, inside the artery to help keep it open.

At White Plains Hospital, angioplasties may be performed on an elective or emergency basis, ensuring that Emergency Department patients with cardiac symptoms, including heart attack, receive rapid care in accordance with national standards. Emergency patients diagnosed with symptoms strongly suggestive of a heart attack can be rushed upstairs to one of the Hospital's two cardiac catheterization laboratories. There, a team of interventional cardiologists and nurses can perform an emergency angioplasty. At the Hospital, our "door-to-balloon time" remains consistently under one hour and is an exceptional quality measure that demonstrates the focus and talent of our staff in both the emergency room and the cath lab.

Electrophysiology

White Plains Hospital has long performed pacemaker and defibrillator placements for patients with cardiac arrhythmias—heart rhythms that may be too slow or too fast. In 2018, the Hospital expanded its cardiac electrophysiology program with the introduction of a number of leading-edge cardiac procedures, traditionally performed only at major New York City medical centers. Electrophysiology procedures are performed to help test the electrical conduction of the heart, to identify where the abnormality is occurring, and to treat an abnormal heart rhythm.

Ablation

An ablation is a treatment that uses radiofrequency waves to destroy abnormal heart tissue that is causing an arrhythmia.

Cardioversion

Patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter may benefit from treatment by cardioversion, which administers an electrical shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm.

Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD) implantation

These small devices are implanted in the chest and continuously monitor heart rhythm. If an abnormality is detected, the device delivers a shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm.

Pacemaker implantation

A pacemaker is a small device, inserted under the skin in the chest, that helps maintain a normal heart rate and rhythm. The device may be used to treat a slow heart rhythm, heart failure or fainting episodes due to abnormal rhythms.

Some patients may also benefit from the Medtronic Micra™ leadless pacemaker. The Micra is intended for patients who need a single chamber pacemaker (also known as a ventricular pacemaker). The world’s smallest pacemaker, the Micra is implanted through a vein in the leg directly into the patient's heart. The Micra can eliminate risks associated with the wiring required with a conventional pacemaker. White Plains Hospital is the first hospital in Westchester to offer the Micra pacemaker.

Remote monitoring of pacemakers and defibrillators is an advance that will allow your physician to be constantly apprised of your condition as well the need for any adjustments to the device.

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