When you need heart care, Willamette Valley Medical Center has outstanding cardiologists and diagnostics, as well as ongoing heart care. The Cath Lab at Willamette Valley Medical Center is dedicated to providing quality, efficient care for a cardiac procedure that may be required in your future. Most procedures are able to be done same day, with the exception of Pacemaker implants, which may require an overnight stay in the hospital.
Heart health is about more than just your heart. Blood pressure, cholesterol, family history and other factors all play important roles in keeping your heart strong. If you have questions about your heart health but aren’t quite sure where to begin, start with a heart health assessment and learn more about any risks you may have for heart-related conditions. Your journey to a stronger heart starts here.
A coronary angiogram also known as a heart cath is a procedure that is used to diagnose heart disease. This test will check the function of different parts of the heart, such as blood flow, pressures in the heart chambers, and assess the pumping action of the heart. A small, thin, flexible catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in your groin or arm and threaded up into your heart. Then, the doctor will take x-ray pictures of your heart using a specialty dye (contrast) that is injected through the catheter, flowing to your heart where x-ray pictures will then be taken to assess the blood flow of the coronary arteries. Both procedures are done under sedation with specialty-trained staff.
For heart catheterization instructions, please view our brochure.
For more information about cardiac catheterization procedures, please visit radiologyinfo.org – Cardiac Catheterization.
A Pacemaker is a small electrical device that is used to regulate the beating of a slow or irregular heartbeat. This device is implanted through a small incision that is made on the upper chest and placed under the skin of the chest wall. The pacemaker’s wires pass through a vein into the chambers of the heart. The pacemaker sends out mild electrical pulses that keep the heart beating normally. This procedure is done under sedation with specialty-trained staff. Patients will most likely spend the night in the hospital for observation. After the procedure, a pacemaker representative will help guide you through the process of home setup of your new device.
A cardioversion is a procedure that sends direct electric current to reset the heart’s rhythm back into a regular pattern (normal sinus rhythm). During the procedure, patches are applied to the chest wall; sedation is given under the direction of a physician. Patients with an irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation, will receive a cardioversion, if deemed necessary by their doctor. If atrial fibrillation has lasted for more than 48 hours, your doctor may place you on anticoagulants a few weeks prior to performing a cardioversion.
An echocardiogram (also called an echo) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves that are sent through a device called a transducer. A TEE is performed to assess heart valve function or to look for any blood clots that may be residing in the heart chambers as a result of atrial fibrillation. Sedation and an anesthetic applied to the throat are used during this test. Then, a probe is passed down the esophagus where it emits sound waves that provide a clear picture of the heart.
A pharmacological stress echo is an echocardiogram that is done to assess if there is decreased blood flow to the heart (coronary artery disease) under stress. An ultrasound technologist will obtain pictures of your heart before, during and after your heart is stressed. During the test, a registered nurse under the direction of the cardiologist will give you a medication that works to make your heart beat harder and faster. Once a target heart rate is met, pictures are taken to assess how your heart beats under stress. Medication will be given to reverse the effects and you will be able to resume normal activities directly after the test.