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Non-Surgical Cardiac Treatment Options

Whether your doctor has recommended tests to help diagnose a potential heart problem or wants to correct an existing problem, Sacred Heart Medical Center offers the procedures and services to meet your needs.

Our cath labs, surgery center, inpatient care units and specialty areas are staffed with experienced nurses and technicians. Plus, our cardiac rehabilitation nurses will provide you with the education and resources you need for the journey toward heart-healthy living.

Angioplasty (PTCA)

A non-surgical procedure performed by a board-certified cardiologist using a balloon catheter to open a blockage in one or more coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart.


Similar to cardiac catheterization and angioplasty; atherectomy restores blood flow to a narrowed coronary artery by removing the material blocking the artery. Depending on the type and degree of blockage, your doctor may choose either Directional coronary atherectomy (DCA), Rotational atherectomy or Transluminal extraction atherectomy.

Cardiac catheterization

Frequently referred to as a "Heart Cath;" an X-ray study to evaluate the coronary arteries, heart valves and chambers of the heart.

Echocardiogram (Echo)

Ultrasound waves to form a picture of the heart, providing information about its size, structure and movement, and how the valves work.

Electrophysiology (EP) study

A catheter is inserted through your veins and positioned in the heart so its electrical activity can be recorded. Depending on the diagnosis, the same catheter may be used to deliver the therapy needed to cure an irregular heartbeat.

Perfusion imaging

Sometimes done in conjunction with an exercise test; you will receive intravenous (IV) injections of a radioactive tracer (either thallium or technetium). Scans of the heart are done while you are at rest and again after you have completed a short period of strenuous exercise.

Pharmacologic Stress Test/Imaging

If you are not able to exercise on a treadmill for a stress test (see below), you will receive a medication such as dobutamine, adenosine or dipyridamole through a vein (intravenous line). This type of medicine will make your heart beat faster and harder, similar to when you exercise.

Radiofrequency (RF) Catheter Ablation

Used when one or more extra heart fibers, or a small region of damaged heart muscle, generate electrical signals of its own. Electrode catheters are used to pinpoint the source of arrhythmia; radio-frequency current is slowly applied and creates a pea-sized scar in the heart, which blocks the abnormal electrical activity and allows the heart to function normally.


A small, mesh tube made of stainless steel used to prop open a narrowed section of coronary artery to improve the blood flow to the heart muscle. Drug-eluting stents are coated with a medication that is slowly released to help reduce the chance of the artery re-narrowing around the stent.

Stress Test

Sometimes called a treadmill test or exercise test; this helps a doctor find out how well your heart handles work. Your doctor may recommend a exercise stress test to diagnose coronary artery disease, or a possible heart-related cause of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness; check the effectiveness of procedures already performed; or predict your risk of dangerous heart-related conditions such as a heart attack.

Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR)

A unique procedure involving the use of laser technology to place small holes in the heart muscle to create additional channels for blood to nourish the heart. Candidates for TMR are often severely limited in performing daily activities, frequently suffer from severe chest pain (angina) despite taking medication, and do not have the option of coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty.