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Panama offers specialists that perform a broad range of cardiovascular procedures, from open heart surgery to minimally invasive operations.  The procedures listed below do not represent the complete range of procedures available.  If the procedure or treatment you need is not outlined, please inquire about its availability and protocol. Click on the name of the procedure for a description.

Angiogram uses x-rays to view your body’s blood vessels. Doctors use this test to study narrow, blocked, enlarged, or malformed arteries or veins in many parts of your body, including your brain, heart, abdomen, and legs. To create the x-ray images, your physician will inject a "dye", through a catheter, into the desired artery or vein. This "dye, " or contrast, makes the blood in blood vessels visible on an x-ray. The contrast is later eliminated from your body through your urine. Your physician may recommend an angiogram to diagnose vascular conditions, including blockages, emboli, aneurisms, malformations and thrombosis. Sometimes physicians can also treat a problem during an angiogram. For instance, disolving a clot discovered during the test. A physician may also perform an angioplasty and stenting procedure to clear blocked arteries during an angiogram, depending on the location and extent of the blockage

Angioplasty and angioplasty with vascular stenting are minimally invasive procedures performed to improve blood flow in the body's arteries and veins. In the angioplasty procedure, imaging techniques are used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed. In vascular stenting, which may be performed with angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube called a stent is permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open.

Cardiac electrophysiology is the study of the electrical system of the heart. It deals with the treatment of both bradycardias (slow rhythms of the heart) and tachycardias (fast rhythms of the heart).

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator is used in patients at risk for recurrent, sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. The device is connected to leads positioned inside the heart or on its surface. These leads are used to deliver electrical shocks, sense the cardiac rhythm and sometimes pace the heart, as needed. The various leads are tunnelled to a pulse generator, which is implanted in a pouch beneath the skin of the chest or abdomen. These generators are small and have electronics that automatically monitor and treat heart rhythms recognized as abnormal. They can be installed through blood vessels, eliminating the need for open chest surgery.  Implantable cardioverter defibrillators have been very useful in preventing sudden death in patients with known, sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation.

Cardiac Radio Frequency Ablation is a procedure that is performed to regulate heart rhythm; it is a technique that can cure many types of tachycardia. Using catheters that are threaded into the heart, radiofrequency energy is targeted toward the area causing the abnormal heart rhythm, permanently damaging small areas of tissue. The damaged tissue is no longer able to generate electrical impulses. If the procedure is successful, the arrhythmia is no longer able to be generated, curing the patient.

The surgery reroutes, or "bypasses," blood around clogged arteries to improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart.  Surgeons take a segment of a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body and make a detour around the blocked part of the coronary artery.   An artery may be detached from the chest wall and the open end attached to the coronary artery below the blocked area. A piece of a long vein in your leg may be taken. One end is sewn above the blocked area and the other end of the vein is attached or "grafted" to the coronary artery below the blocked area. Blood can use this new path to flow freely to the heart muscle. A patient may undergo one, two, three or more bypass grafts, depending on how many coronary arteries are blocked.



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