Balloon Angioplasty involves the insertion of a tiny catheter that can
be directed through a major blood artery all the way to the heart. When
blockages are encountered, an inflatable "balloon" at the tip
of the catheter is expanded to push the fatty plaque against the artery
wall, opening up the narrowed passage for improved blood flow.
Coronary atherectomy is another catheter procedure in which buildups of
fatty plaque are actually cut away and removed from coronary arteries
to improve blood flow, relieve angina and help prevent heart attacks.
Cardiac stenting is often used in conjunction with other procedures such
as balloon angioplasty or atherectomy. This catheter-based procedure inserts
an expandable wire mesh tube into a diseased artery to serve as an internal
framework that holds the vessel open.
Drug-eluting stents have been utilized in the treatment of coronary artery
disease since 1993, and their use has significantly reduced the recurrence
of blockages in the arteries. Drug-eluting stents, a new milestone in
stent technology, combine the mechanical support of a stainless-steel
coronary stent with a thin drug coating on its surface. When a bare metal
stent is implanted in a blocked artery, there is a risk that the buildup
of plaque will recur around the stent several months after implantation,
a condition called restenosis. If this happens, additional procedures
may be required. Restenosis is one of the greatest challenges in the long-term
treatment of patients with coronary artery disease. Drug-eluting stents
are a dramatic technological advancement, which have been proven to significantly
reduce the risk of restenosis among patients. These stents are lined with
medication which inhibits the buildup of plaque in the artery directly
around the stent, allowing blood to flow.
Open Heart Surgery
Derek D. Muehrcke, MD - a recognized leader in the field of open heart
surgery- is Board Certified in Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery by the American
Board of Thoracic Surgery and leads Flagler Hospital's open heart
The team consists of specially trained staff throughout every aspect of
the heart program, including emergency care, OR, critical care, monitor
banks and the cardiac catheterization lab. The information below provides
some detail about available procedures.
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABS) creates a detour or bypass around
a narrowed or blocked portion of a coronary artery and allows for the
blood to flow more freely to the heart.
- Heart valve replacement is open heart surgery in which a defective valve
that cannot be repaired is replaced with either a biological or a mechanical valve.
- Maze procedure is an open heart surgery that corrects atrial fibrillation
by creating a new pathway through which electrical signals travel to control
- Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is the surgical removal of a plaque-clogged
layer within the carotid artery, thus opening the vessel and restoring
normal blood flow to the brain.
Electrophysiology assesses the electrical activities of your heart, and
helps diagnose and treat heart rhythm abnormalities. Tests are done to
evaluate activities of the heart, such as complex arrhythmias, elucidate
symptoms and abnormal electrocardiograms. The assessment of this problem
can lead to the implementation of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators.
Flagler Hospital provides a full range of non-invasive services for our
cardiology patients. We use a wide range of services including EKGs, stress
tests, prevention strategies, cholesterol screenings and medication to
help prevent and control emerging cardiac conditions. If these methods
are not effective, a more invasive Interventional Cardiology procedure
may be required.