Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Tampa General’s Heart and Vascular Institute is a world-class, comprehensive cardiovascular care program. We’ve been ranked as one of America’s Best Hospitals and the highest-ranked hospital in Florida for Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2020-2021, demonstrating our commitment to ensuring the best outcomes for all our cardiovascular patients, including the highest risk cases.
Within the institute, our Interventional Cardiology Center of Excellence maintains a state-of-the-art facility that features six cardiac catheterization labs, allowing us to offer a full range of non-surgical treatment options, including electrophysiology and invasive cardiology procedures that result in less pain and faster recovery for our patients.
The invasive cardiologists at TGH perform many procedures to treat heart conditions affecting the heart’s valves and arteries. Procedures include:
- Atherectomy (Rotablator)
- Balloon Angioplasty
- Balloon Valvuloplasty / Mitral Valvuloplasty
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Transradial Heart Catheterization
- Intra-Cardiac Echocardiography (ICE)
- Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS)
- Radiofrequency Ablation
The cardiac clinical electrophysiologists at TGH are board-certified experts in the electrical activity of the heart. This activity, known as the cardiac conduction system, is the transmission of electrical impulses from the top of the heart to the bottom of the heart, which causes the heart to contract and pump blood. In conjunction with a diverse, multidisciplinary team of other cardiac specialists, our electrophysiologists perform EP studies at a high volume and use advanced 3-D mapping and imaging systems to diagnose and treat a wide variety of heart rate and heart rhythm disorders. Patients who are obese, hypertensive or have sleep apnea are most at risk for developing heart conduction system problems.
ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS WE TREAT
Conditions we commonly treat include:
- Heart arrhythmias
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial flutter
- Bradycardia (slow heart rhythm)
- Tachycardia (fast heart rhythm)
- Sudden cardiac arrest
- Syncope (fainting)
- Valvular diseases
- Heart failure requiring implantable device-based therapy
- Problems caused by previously performed heart surgeries
Our procedures aim to restore normal function to the heart’s electrical system and include:
Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common type of heart arrhythmia, and ablation is a common treatment. Prior to performing ablation for atrial fibrillation, our specialists use an advanced MRI heart mapping technique that allows for a more targeted diagnosis and treatment plan, increasing the effectiveness of the ablation procedure. TGH is the only hospital in the area offering this technique.
In addition, TGH is among the first hospitals in the Tampa Bay region to offer a new high-tech catheter device that can improve outcomes of patients treated for atrial fibrillation. The ThermoCool® SmartTouch® catheter, recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, enables our specialists to accurately control the amount of contact force applied to the heart wall during radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures. To learn more about cardiac catheterization, click here.
Device and Lead Implantation, Removal and Management
Cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIED)—also known as pacemakers or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD)—are implanted to treat some heart rhythm disorders and are generally very safe and reliable.
But sometimes, complications can occur, such as electrical malfunction, mechanical breakage, incompatibility with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scans) or the development of an infection at the leads.
The integrated team at TGH is capable of treating any CIED malfunction or infection with the latest technology. This includes intravenous lead removal with state-of-the-art excimer laser sheaths and mechanical cutting sheaths. TGH is widely recognized as one of the comprehensive and busiest lead management programs in the Southeastern United States.
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) & Conduction System Pacing
Conventional cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is the only known heart failure therapy that improves cardiac function, ability to exercise and survival while decreasing cardiac workload and hospitalization rates. But about 30% of patients do not respond to this therapy.
TGH’s heart rhythm specialists have a major interest in these patients. We offer a careful analysis of the existing resynchronization device system including lead position, programmed parameters and electrocardiogram. Simple reprogramming of the device or lead replacement, repositioning or addition of a conduction system lead can markedly improve heart failure symptoms.
Ventricular Tachycardia (VT) Ablation
TGH is a regional tertiary care referral service and the largest heart transplant and mechanical ventricular assist device service in Florida. Our heart failure specialists perform the full spectrum of advanced ablative therapy for life-threatening ventricular tachycardia, including:
- Epicardial ablation from the outer surface of the heart
- Ablation procedures performed under temporary hemodynamic support
- Ablation procedures in patients after heart transplantation and ventricular assist device implantation
Close collaboration between arrhythmia and heart failure specialists, cutting-edge procedural techniques and hemodynamic support back up are essential to achieve successful outcomes in patients with refractory ventricular arrhythmias and advanced heart disease.
CLINICAL TRIALS & PUBLISHED STUDIES
Our interventional cardiology team participates in several clinical trials, including ones involving AFib and ablation catheter technology. Additionally, TGH has been at the forefront of conduction system pacing studies, which focus on directly stimulating the heart’s own pacing system to help it more normally sustain its electrical impulses. This is in contrast to the conventional approach of heart muscle pacing.