Treatments and Procedures 

Here is a list of key cardiac treatments and procedures performed at Hahnemann University Hospital. To learn more about each topic, please click the associated link.

Ablation: Arrhythmia ablation involves the use of special catheters to identify the location of the circuits that causes the arrhythmia and then interrupting them -- curing the abnormal rhythm.  This procedure is now used for the arrhythmias of the lower chambers of the heart (ventricular tachycardia) and arrhythmias of the upper chamber of the heart (atrial tachycardias, atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation). 

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Angioplasty: A procedure in which a catheter with a balloon at its tip is directed to a site where a coronary artery is narrowed by plaque. The balloon is inflated to compress the plaque against the walls of the artery and to stretch the artery. The procedure can be performed on the coronary arteries, as well as the carotid, renal, and peripheral arteries.

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 Bypass Surgery: A surgical procedure that uses an artery from the chest or a portion of a vein from the leg to channel blood around a narrowed segment of a coronary artery.

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Carotid (Coronary Artery) Stenting: A peripheral vascular intervention procedure that treats blockage in the arteries to the brain to help prevent strokes. The procedure is especially effective when used in conjunction with neuro-protection, a filter that captures debris during the stent procedure that may cause a stroke.

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Endograft (Endovascular Aneurysm Repair): A procedure performed in the catheterization lab to repair endovascular aortic aneurysms. The procedure is a minimally invasive surgery that generally reduces recovery time for patients. It involves a small incision in the groin and the insertion of a catheter in the other groin side. Using an endovascular catheter, stent and guidewire techniques, a synthetic graft device is maneuvered into place. The graft replaces the section of aortic wall damaged by an aneurysm. Our catheterization suite accommodates such complex cases and provides the flexibility of functioning as an operating room to provide a sterile environment.

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Heart Transplantation: A surgical transplant procedure performed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary artery disease. The procedure involves taking a working heart from a recently deceased organ donor (allograft) and implanting it into the patient. 

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Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) Implantation: Implanted through an open-heart surgery procedure, these mechanical devices have been used since the early 1990s to help keep patients alive as they wait for cardiac transplantation. Hahnemann has pioneered the use of newer, smaller LVADs that have proven to be more reliable and better able to keep patients alive while waiting for transplant. These devices are also now used for destination therapy – meaning that they are implanted permanently in patients who are not transplant candidates. The use of LVADs for this purpose significantly improves survival and quality of life in patients with advanced heart failure.

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Maze Procedure: A cardiac procedure intended to eliminate atrial fibrillation (AF) by interrupting the circular electrical patterns. "Maze" refers to the series of incisions arranged in a maze-like pattern in the atria. Strategic placement of incisions in both atria stops the conduction of errant electrical impulses and channels the normal electrical impulse in one direction from the top of the heart to the bottom.  The major advantage the Maze procedure offers over other forms of therapy is that it corrects all three problems associated with AF by ablating the arrhythmia, restoring synchrony between the atria and the ventricles and preserving organized atrial contraction.

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Minimally-Invasive Repair of Structural Heart Disease:  This septal repair implant procedure offers an alternative to people with patent formen ovale or atrial septal defect, where an opening in the left and right atria (upper chambers) does not close normally during birth. Until recently, such patients had only two choices, drug therapy or open-heart surgery to close the hole. Now, this procedure performed in the catheterization lab affords people who are at risk for a repeat stroke with another choice -- a percutaneous technique (inserting a catheter into the heart through a vein) that implants the heart patch. Once the patch is in place between the atria, it is expanded on each side of the hole. Eventually tissue grows into the device's fabric and it becomes a permanent part of the heart. 

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Pacemaker and Defibrillator Implantation:  If arrhythmias are serious, one of two devices may need to be implanted under the skin to correct the rhythm: a cardiac pacemaker or an implantable defibrillator.  A pacemaker sends electrical impulses to the heart when needed to aid in the proper pumping of blood.  

Pacemakers may make the heart beat faster when the heart rate is too slow, may convert some dangerous heart rhythms back to normal heart rhythms and when used to pace both ventricles, may make the heart function more efficiently and may make people with heart failure feel better.

 A defibrillator converts fatal heart rhythms back to normal heart rhythms by delivering electrical shocks. Defibrillators may improve survival in patients at risk for fatal heart rhythms.

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Surgical Ventricular Reconstruction:  Left ventricular reconstructive surgery removes the scarred, dead area of heart tissue and/or aneurysm to return the left ventricle to a more normal shape.

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Valve Repair and Replacement:  The human heart has four valves: mitral, aortic, pulmonary and tricuspid, that act as one-way "doors" between the chambers of the heart. Heart valve surgical procedures include repair or replacement using mechanical, tissue, or human valves.

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Hahnemann University Hospital | 230 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102