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Heart treatments

Heart Treatments

Cardiac Pacing and Device Therapy

This broad terminology incorporates a number of differing pacing treatments for the heart which include permanent pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) and biventricular pacing.


Exercise Prescription

This involves the provision of a tailored exercise programme based on a patient’s baseline level of fitness. This frequently includes the use of baseline cardiopulmonary exercise testing (see under heart investigations).

Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

An ICD is an electronic device that constantly monitors your heart rate and rhythm. When it detects a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm, it delivers energy to the heart muscle either as aggressive anti tachy pacing (painlessly to restore the heart rhythm back to normal) or in the form of a heart shock (defibrillation). Furthermore, it can function as a routine pacemaker. it consists of a generator (placed under the skin and fat in the left upper chest) attached to one or more leads which  are positioned into the relevant  chambers via a vein under the collar bone on the left side usually.

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)/Angioplasty

Angioplasty/Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

This is a procedure in which a narrowed section of the coronary artery is widened. Angioplasty is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time than bypass surgery, which is also done to increase blood flow to the heart muscle but requires open-heart surgery. 

Angioplasty is done using a thin, soft tube called a catheter. A doctor inserts the catheter into a blood vessel in the groin or above the elbow. The doctor carefully guides the catheter through blood vessels until it reaches the diseased portion of the coronary artery. A small, expandable wire tube called a stent is often permanently inserted into the artery during angioplasty to open any significant narrowing (stenosis) or potential blockages. A balloon is placed inside the stent and inflated, which opens the stent and pushes it into place against the artery wall. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving the stent in place. Balloon angioplasty is the most common method of inserting stents, although sometimes stents are placed without the use of a balloon.