Cardiac Procedures

Recover faster when you get minimally invasive and noninvasive heart treatments at Reading Hospital. These procedures don’t make large cuts in the skin, which means you may experience less scarring and a lower risk of complications.

Watchman TM Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion Implant

For patients who suffer from AFib not caused by a heart valve problem, Watchman offers an alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners. This permanent heart implant effectively reduces the risk of stroke. Learn more about the Watchman procedure [PDF].

Learn more about Watchman through patient Susie Olsen:

Cardiac Catheterization

A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin or neck and threaded to your heart. Through this procedure, called cardiac catheterization, a doctor can test and treat your heart.

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) can open blocked heart arteries and restore blood flow to the heart tissue without open-heart surgery.

  • Angioplasty: In this procedure, a cardiologist slides a tiny balloon into a blood vessel and inflates it to open a blocked artery. At Reading Hospital, the doctor likely will enter your blood vessels through your wrist, which reduces recovery time. Reading Hospital provides angioplasty in less than 50 minutes, on average, after a heart attack patient arrives – much faster than the national standard of 90 minutes.
  • Intracoronary stent: A small, metal, coil-like tube is mounted on a catheter and inserted into the artery after angioplasty. Placed at the site of the blockage, the stent helps keep the artery open.
  • Rotational coronary atherectomy (RCA): Attached to a high speed drill, a burr cores out hard blockages in the arteries.

Percutaneous Left Ventricular Assist Device (L-VAD)

This mechanical pump helps a weak heart send blood throughout the body. The L-VAD device does not replace the heart, but decreases the work of the left ventricle (lower heart chamber) if you have heart failure or cardiogenic shock.

Pacemaker & Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)

In the electrophysiology lab, a doctor inserts a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator into your heart and upper chest to provide a reliable heartbeat when the heart’s own rhythm is too slow. The doctor uses a minimally invasive procedure (not open-heart surgery) to insert the wires into the heart through your veins.

Biventricular Pacemaker/ICD

A new type of pacemaker called a biventricular pacemaker can treat heart failure. Sometimes in heart failure, the two ventricles (lower heart chambers) do not pump together in a normal rhythm. A biventricular pacemaker paces both ventricles at the same time, increasing the amount of blood the heart pumps.

Subcutaneous ICD

Unlike a traditional ICD, a subcutaneous ICD implants an electrode near, not in, your heart. This approach reduces the risk of infection.

Wireless Pacemaker

A doctor implants the new Micra wireless pacemaker right into your heart, without wires that can break or lead to infection.

Cryoablation & Radiofrequency Ablation

Ablation treats arrhythmia by using a thin, flexible tube to send cold energy (cryoablation) or heat (radiofrequency ablation) to small regions of the heart and turn them to scar tissue. This removes abnormal electrical pathways that cause irregular heart rhythms. You’ll most likely get cryoablation, which lets the doctor test the tissue site before treating it.

ASD & PFO Closure

Doctors can treat an atrial septal defect or a patent foramen ovale by threading a tiny metal-mesh implant into a blood vessel and up to the heart to plug the hole.


Cardioversion sends electricity to the heart to treat arrhythmia. Your cardiologist or nurse will place paddles or pads on your chest. These connect to a small machine at your bedside and deliver a low-energy shock to your heart. One impulse usually returns the heart to its normal rhythm.

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