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Surgery and other procedures

Surgeries and procedures

Ablation

Ablation helps restore normal heart rhythm.

It can be used to treat rapid heartbeats (tachycardia) or rapid, uncoordinated heartbeats (fibrillation).

Ablation is used most often if your condition has not responded to medication.

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Atherectomy

This is a minimally-invasive procedure to remove plaque that has built up in your arteries. It’s similar to angioplasty.

After the plaque is removed, a stent (a tiny, mesh tube) may be put in place to keep the artery open.

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Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) (Biventricular Pacemaker)

CRT involves implanting a small electronic device in your chest or abdomen. The device sends an electronic signal to your heart to synchronize your heartbeat.

The CRT device is also called a biventricular pacemaker.

This procedure is most common in people with severe heart failure.

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Cardioversion therapy

Cardioversion is used treat atrial fibrillation. It helps restore your heart’s normal rhythm. It is similar to defibrillation, but uses a much lower level of electricity.

You can usually go home the same day.

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Coronary artery bypass surgery

Bypass surgery is done to improve blood flow to the heart caused by the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries. It involves using a piece of blood vessel taken from elsewhere in the body, to create a detour or bypass around the blocked portion of the artery.

If angioplasty isn’t possible, bypass surgery may be your next best option.

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Heart transplant surgery

Heart transplant surgery is the removal of a failing heart and its replacement with a donor heart.  Heart transplant is reserved for severe, end-stage heart failure.

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Heart valve surgery: repair and replacement

Heart valve surgery repairs or replaces faulty or damaged valves. Sometime this can be done with a non-surgical procedures.

Minor valve problems can sometimes be treated with medication alone.

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Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

An ICD is a device that monitors and regulates irregular heart rhythms.  When it  detects  a dangerous rhythm, ICD’s deliver an electrical shock to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.

An ICD looks much like a pacemaker and like pacemakers, ICD’s are implanted.

ICDs are prescribed  if you have experienced ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest, or ineffective drug therapy.

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Implantable pacemaker

A pacemaker is an implantable device that regulates heart rate and rhythm. It uses electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate.

Pacemakers can treat abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmia) that have not responded well to medication.

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Mechanical assist device

This is a small pump that can temporarily  help the heart maintain blood circulation.

There are several different devices depending on your condition.

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Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI or angioplasty with stent)

You might know PCI better by its old name: angioplasty.

This non-surgical procedure sends a thin flexible tube (catheter) to your heart to place a stent (a tiny, mesh tube). The stent opens up blood vessels that have been narrowed by plaque buildup (atherosclerosis).

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Ventricular resection

Ventricular resection is done to treat heart failure when you have been diagnosed with an enlarged heart. The goal is to improve the heart’s pumping ability by reshaping the heart’s main pumping chamber (the left ventricle).

It is sometimes combined with bypass surgery or valve repair. There are different types of ventricular resection surgery.

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