We provide surgical and interventional treatment options for a variety of heart and vascular issues from experienced cardiovascular specialists.
Irregular heartbeat, known as heart arrythmia, can be caused by many factors, including coronary artery disease, electrolyte imbalances and injury. Crozer-Keystone specialists perform the following procedures to treat heart rhythm disorders in patients:
A Pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under the skin that sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat.
Defibrillators are electronic devices that sense and correct a dangerously abnormal heart rhythm; they can be implanted like a pacemaker.
Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation uses radio waves sent through a catheter to the heart muscle to permanently block the abnormal pathway followed by the electric signal.
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a unique device therapy used to treat heart failure. In the electrophysiology lab, physicians place a small "biventricular resynchronization device under the patient's skin below the collarbone. This device is similar to a pacemaker in size, shape and weight, and it uses a sealed battery to provide electrical signals to the heart. But it also has three electrical leads, which are placed in three different heart chambers. This device causes the heart chambers to best "in synch" with one another. This improves the heart's pumping efficiency and helps to relieve heart failure symptoms.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary arteries along the surface of the heart supply the heart muscle with oxygen. As heart disease develops, the coronary arteries become narrow due to a build-up of plaque, which is made up of fats, dead cells and other materials. This raises the risk of heart attack. When lifestyle changes and medication have not helped to lower the risk of heart attack, Crozer-Keystone specialists offer both time-tested and newer treatments to restore blood flow to the heart muscle for patients with life-threatening heart disease. These include medical therapy, or the use of drugs to treat the effects and symptoms of coronary artery disease; interventional (non-surgical) procedures and surgical procedures.
Interventional procedures include:
Angioplasty uses a catheter with a small balloon at its tip. Once the catheter has been guided to the proper place in the heart, the balloon is filled with air. This presses the plaque against the wall of the artery to improve blood flow. In some cases, a catheter may be used to remove a blood clot. Crozer-Keystone has performed 5,000 of these procedures since 1992.
A stent is a tiny, expandable metal coil that is inserted into the newly-opened area of the artery to help keep the artery from narrowing or closing again.
Rotational Atherectomy is occasionally used to open a blocked coronary artery in patients with heavily calcified plaque. Once the catheter has been guided to the narrow section of the artery, a high-speed instrument is used to cut through the plaque.
Surgical procedures include:
Open Heart Surgery
The most common open heart surgery is called "coronary artery bypass grafting." During this procedure, heart surgeons use healthy blood vessels from the patient's body to re-route blood flow around blocked coronary arteries. Since 1999, Crozer surgeons have performed this procedure "off-pump" in most patients, without using the heart-lung machine (cardiopulmonary bypass surgery).
Heart Valve Disorders
The heart valves control the flow of blood between the heart chambers and between the left ventricle and the major artery that supplies the body's blood vessels with blood-containing oxygen. Some valve defects can be treated with medicine, while others may be repaired or replaced surgically.
Crozer cardiac surgeons can repair or replace defective heart valves using the patient's own body tissues, in many cases, or new natural or mechanical valves. Crozer surgeons also perform emergency and scheduled repairs of life-threatening conditions of the aorta.
Although heart failure is not a specific disease, it is a serious condition in which the heart fails to maintain enough blood flow to the body. Heart failure can be caused by a heart attack, clogged blood vessels, high blood pressure, diabetes, or an infection. Patients experience exhaustion, shortness of breath and cold fingers and toes. Crozer-Keystone hospitals offer cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), a unique device therapy used to treat heart failure.