Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
Known as heart bypass or bypass surgery, this is a surgical procedure performed to relieve angina and to treat coronary artery disease. Arteries or veins from elsewhere in your body are grafted to the coronary arteries to bypass the diseased arteries and improve the blood supply to the heart circulation supplying the heart.
A heart valve replacement operation (aortic valve surgery) involves replacing a damaged valve in your heart with a mechanical valve or a tissue valve. A new valve will relieve the strain on the heart and aims to ease symptoms such as breathlessness and chest pain due to angina.
Cardiology procedures can be performed on your heart, often using tubes or catheters to treat your condition, without the need for open heart surgery.
Coronary angiography (catheterisation)
This is when a thin, flexible tube called a catheter, is threaded through an artery in your arm or groin which leads to the heart. A special dye that shows up on X-Ray pictures is injected into the tube and X-Ray pictures are taken. This examination helps to find out if your coronary arteries are blocked and how well your heart valves are working. This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic.
Coronary angioplasty is when a catheter is threaded towards your heart using X-Ray images to direct the catheter toward the narrowed section of the artery. The angioplasty catheter has a tiny balloon on its shaft; this balloon is gently inflated to open up your heart arteries. The balloon is deflated after a couple of minutes and removed, leaving more room in the artery for blood to flow to your heart. Occasionally a small wire metal mesh (a stent) can be inserted at the same time as the angioplasty, creating a scaffold to hold the artery open to improve blood flow and reduce symptoms. Your consultant will advise whether a stent is suitable in your case.
A pacemaker is a small device with one or more leads. It is inserted under local anaesthetic under the skin, just below the collar bone and the leads are placed into the heart through a vein. The pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart to help it produce a heart beat.
Cardioversion is a treatment to restore the heart back to its normal rhythm. The most common type of arrhythmia is called atrial fibrillation. This means that the upper chambers in your heart are moving fast and aren’t contracting properly. The symptoms include dizziness, fainting, palpitations and a fluttering feeling in your chest.
Cardioversion involves applying a controlled electric shock to your chest to reset your heart’s normal rhythm. Cardioversion is performed under a general anaesthetic or heavy sedation.
Ablation of arrhythmia
This is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. A catheter is inserted into your heart and a machine directs energy towards your heart muscle which helps to regulate your heart beat.