Invasive Tests

Overview

If you have visited a cardiologist or an ailing relative in a hospital with some heart related problem, you surely would have heard lots of jargon. Here, we try to find the answer to the question “What is invasive cardiology?” Invasive cardiology is made of two words; “Invasive” – involving entry into a living body and “Cardiology” – branch of medicine dealing with the heart and part of the circulatory system. Putting these two words together is the answer to our question – what is invasive cardiology. Invasive Cardiology is a subdomain of the overall Cardiology Domain. This specialized field involved the invasive heart tests and surgical procedures required to either diagnose or treat a heart related ailment.

The specialized branch of medicine called Invasive Cardiology has further two components

  1. Invasive Cardiac Tests – As the name suggests, this component deals with the different types of tests to identify the current health status as well as probability of any future ailment.
  2. Invasive Cardiology Procedures – This component deals with the actual surgical procedures to remove or heal any problems that have been identified by the invasive heart tests.

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Some of the common invasive Cardiac tests are
  • a)Cardiac Catheterization including Angiography – This refers to a set of different invasive heart tests where small catheters are inserted in the patient’s body to measure a number of parameters. This is a set of diagnostic procedures to measure the flow of blood, any blockages or any other problems in the heart.

Angiography is a specific type of Cardiac Catheterization where a die is injected in the blood stream to check for any blockages.

  • b)Electrophysiology Tests – These invasive tests are performed to check the heartbeats, i.e. the electrical signals passing through the heart.

Some of the common invasive cardiology procedures that are performed, if any anomaly is found during the invasive tests are

  • a)Angioplasty – In this procedure, a balloon is inserted into the clogged veins of the heart; that helps in increasing the flow of blood by pushing the plaque towards the wall of the heart.
  • b)Stenting – In case, the blockage is very high, the cardiac surgeon may decide to insert a metallic stent which permanently pushes the plaque towards the heart wall, helping in better flow of the blood.
While it may sound scary, invasive heart surgery is responsible for saving a lot of lives by timely intervention and prevention of problems related to heart.

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