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Minimally Invasive Treatments


Most heart ablation surgeries are done using one or more catheters (small, thin tubes), inserted into the patient’s groin and neck areas. The catheters are inserted into large veins and go into a specific area of the heart.

Once the catheters are positioned, an ablation machine is used to create a scar which blocks the irregular electrical impulses from entering the patient’s veins. Ablation can also be performed surgically.

Angioplasty uses air pressure in a tiny balloon to press plaque against the artery wall so that blood can flow more easily. The procedure involves passing a tiny balloon-tipped catheter into the blocked area and inflating the balloon. The inflated balloon presses the plaque against the walls of the artery to allow increased blood flow to the heart muscle. When the artery is open, the doctor will deflate the balloon and remove it.

Balloon Valvuloplasty
Balloon valvuloplasty can improve the function of a heart valve. Valvuloplasty involves passing a tiny balloon-tipped catheter through blood vessels in your groin into the opening of a stiff heart valve. The inflated balloon stretches the valve opening making it easier for blood to flow through the valve.

Sometimes scar tissue can build up within a stent and block the flow of blood (a condition called stenosis). Brachytherapy helps prevent stenosis from forming again (re-stenosis). The doctor will use a balloon catheter to open the artery and place a small amount of beta radiation directly in the stent area for a short period of time. Brachytherapy can improve the flow of blood through the stent without harming surrounding tissue.

Coronary Atherectomy
Coronary atherectomy uses a catheter with a tiny rotary cutting blade to shave hardened plaque from artery walls. The cutting blade collects the shavings to clear the artery and increase blood flow.

Coronary Rotablator
The coronary rotablator uses a catheter with a tiny drill-like head that chips hardened plaque into very small particles. Because the particles are so small, the blood stream can easily carry them away, and the body will get rid of them with other waste products.

Endoluminal Graft (ELG)
Your doctor may use a treatment called endoluminal graft (ELG) to ensure that your aneurysm will not rupture and that blood can flow normally through the area.

During the procedure, the surgeon will make 2 small incisions in your groin and pass catheters through these incisions to the area where your aneurysm is located.

Using the catheters, the surgeon can anchor a graft above and below the aneurysm. The device allows blood to flow safely through the area without rupturing the aneurysm. Over time, the aneurysm may safely shrink around the graft.

A stent is a flexible stainless steel wire mesh that fits inside an artery. The stent presses plaque against the artery wall and prevents the plaque from returning to its previous shape. This allows more blood to flow through the artery.

During the placement procedure, the stent fits over the outside of a catheter. When the catheter reaches the narrowed spot in your coronary artery, the doctor releases the stent so that it presses against the artery wall. The doctor removes the catheter, but the stent stays in place.

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