Cardiology procedures

We utilise the latest technology and surgical practices across our broad range of cardiology procedures.

Cardiac procedures

We ask that patients are prepared with a list of their current medications, an up to date referral and any previous cardiac test results.

Additional testing may be required prior to consultations and will be communicated directly with the patient.

Find more information on how to refer a patient in your local area.

Cardiac resynchronisation

Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy CRT is a common procedure to improve the heart’s ability to pump blood normally. It is of benefit to people with symptoms of heart failure (such as breathlessness with daily activities and ankle swelling), and evidence of cardiac dyssynchronisation indicated by electrical delay in the heart.

The key to CRT is implanting a biventricular pacemaker and / or a defibrillator depending on patient requirements. In about two thirds of cases, CRT improves heart function but it is not possible to predict beforehand who will benefit the most.

Depending the patient diagnosis, CRT treatment can take one of two forms:

  • CRT with a pacemaker
  • CRT with a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)

Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation

Catheter ablation is a common and effective procedure to treat abnormal electrical impulses that cause arrhythmias.

Under anaesthesia, small incisions are made in the patient’s groin where catheters are guided into the veins to the heart. Abnormal electrical impulses which are causing atrial fibrillation are then precisely targeted and eliminated.

Catheter ablation for supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)

For patients wishing to avoid lifelong medication, this high cure rate procedure targets and destroys abnormal heart tissue to restore normal heart rhythm.

Cardioversion

Cardioversion is used to restore sinus rhythm.

There are two types of cardioversion:

  • Chemical cardioversion – utilising medication to alter the heart’s electrical properties to restore sinus rhythm.
  • Electrical cardioversion – is a procedure where an electrical current is delivered through the chest wall to the heart, interrupting the abnormal electrical circuits in the heart to restore sinus rhythm.

Coronary angiography

A coronary angiogram is done by injecting dye into the heart arteries that shows up on X-ray images. Blood flow and blood pressure in the heart chambers can also be measured during this test.

Coronary angioplasty and stenting

To improve blood flow, a small balloon to unblock and push cholesterol plaque aside to increase the diameter of the artery. The insertion of a stent usually occurs during the same procedure.

This procedure is generally used to treat chest pains or sensations that result from a lack of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle (angina). In certain circumstances, angioplasty can reduce the risk of heart attack.

Electrophysiological study (EPS)

Otherwise referred to as an EPS, this test analyses the electrical activity of the heart in arrhythmia patients to help determine appropriate treatment.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

A medical device used in tachyarrhythmia patients to normalise heart rhythms.

Implantable loop recorder

An implantable loop recorder is a small cardiac monitoring device that is implanted just under the skin to record the patient’s heart rate and rhythm, to check for arrhythmias. It can capture information that heart monitoring devices cannot, simply because it allows for long-term monitoring. It can also capture information that a standard electrocardiogram (ECG) or ambulatory ECG monitor may miss as some heart rhythm abnormalities occur infrequently.

Left atrial appendage occluder implant

A device used to help prevent stroke in some atrial fibrillation patients as an alternative to long-term anticoagulants.

MitraClip

A clipping procedure through the leg to treat a leaking heart valve, a MitraClip can be a reasonable alternative to open heart surgery.

Percutaneous closure procedures

The current treatment standard for many of heart defects is via deployment of a repair device (made of titanium nickel alloy in most cases) by advancing a tube up through the leg into heart under x-ray and ultrasound guidance. However, some abnormalities are sometimes better treated by open heart surgical repair.

Permanent pacemaker implantation

Permanent pacemaker implantation is a common procedure where a pacemaker is inserted just under the skin in the chest to prevent bradycardia.

Transcatheter alcohol ablation of septal hypertrophy (TASH)

When medications are no longer effective to control the symptoms of hypertrophic (obstructive) cardiomyopathy, near 98% alcohol (ethanol) is injected into the artery (and nowhere else) to cause the heart muscle in this area to die, reducing the amount of thickened muscle.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

Historically aortic valve disease has been managed with open heart surgery through a cut in the chest through the breast bone and new valve implanted. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement / implantation (TAVR / TAVI) is a technique that has been developed over the last decade where the new valve (made of a metal frame with cow and or pig tissue) is taken up to the heart through a tube in the leg artery (or sometimes the arteries under the collar bone or in the neck).

Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE)

Unlike standard echocardiography, TOE uses a tube-like device placed in the mouth and passed gently down the throat into the oesophagus (the food pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach) to record images of the heart.

This test shows the size, shape, and movement of the heart muscle and valves.