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Understanding Tests & Procedures

Therapeutic Procedures

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) - VHL HealthSheet #82025_VA
An ICD is a device that is placed permanently inside your body. An ICD monitors your heart rhythm (the speed and pattern of your heartbeat). If this rhythm becomes too fasst or too slow, the ICD sends out electrical signals that help bring the rhythm back to normal.
Living with an ICD - VHL HealthSheet #82046_VA
ICDs are well protected. Most machines and devices will not interfere. Microwave ovens and other appliances should not cause problems. Neither should computers. Signals from a few devices might cause problems with your ICD, though. Take care to avoid these potential problems.
Pacemakers - VHL HealthSheet #82031_VA
A pacemaker is a small electronic device that helps your heart’s electrical system beat at the right pace. Inserting the pacemaker into your body is called implantation. You stay awake during the procedure.
Living with a Pacemaker - VHL HealthSheet #82049_VA
You can usually do almost everything you did before you got your pacemaker. See your doctor regularly to help ensure that you remain healthy and feeling good. Here are some things to avoid.
Having Cardiac Catheterization - VHL HealthSheet #82058_VA
You may have had angina, dizziness, or other symptoms of heart trouble. To help diagnose your problem, your doctor may suggest having a cardiac catheterization. This common procedure is sometimes also used to treat a heart problem.
Having Catheter Ablation - VHL HealthSheet #82012_VA
Catheter ablation destroys (ablates) an abnormal electrical pathway or groups of electrical cells that may be causing a heart rhythm problem (arrhythmia). A specially trained doctor (electrophysiologist) performs the procedure.
Coronary Angioplasty - VHL HealthSheet #82014_VA
Your doctor will talk to you about your heart problem and explain how angioplasty can help. Angioplasty relieves symptoms of coronary artery disease by improving blood flow to your heart.
Coronary Stents - VHL HealthSheet #82032_VA
A stent is a small metal coil or mesh tube that is placed in a narrowed artery through a catheter (a long, thin tube) to help improve blood flow to your heart. The stent permanently holds the passageway open and helps reduce the rate of restenosis, renarrowing of the artery.
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery - VHL HealthSheet #82019_VA
Coronary artery bypass surgery creates a path for blood to flow around a blockage and helps prevent a heart attack.
Recovery from Heart Surgery: The First Few Weeks - VHL HealthSheet #83224_VA
During the first few weeks after heart surgery, you’ll be regaining your energy and strength. Your healthcare provider will let you know what you can and can’t do as you get better.
After Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery: At Home - VHL HealthSheet #83222_VA
You will need at least 2–3 weeks of healing before you can go back to your normal routine. While you are healing, follow your doctor’s advice. Call your doctor if you have questions.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) - VHL Video
This procedure, a common type of open heart surgery, is one way to treat blockages in the arteries of the heart. Watch the video and learn about the surgery and what you can expect during recovery and rehabilitation.
ICD: Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator - VHL Video
People who have serious arrhythmias or who have experienced sudden cardiac death may benefit with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). The device can deliver a shock when it senses that an abnormal rhythm is present. This video offers detailed information about these implantable devices.
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Did You Know?

Angioplasty is a common procedure used to widen an artery narrowed by plaque. The procedure can last from 30 minutes to several hours.

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