The Heart Centre comprises a cardiac catheter laboratory and seven bedded recovery area, and is staffed by consultant cardiologists, consultant physicians, nursing staff, radiographers and cardiac physiologists. We offer a wide range of services for day-case patients. These include:
Coronary angiography (including transcatheter aortic valve implantation assessments): during this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the heart via the wrist or groin. By injecting radio opaque dye, which can be seen on x-rays, we can view the coronary arteries and identify any blockages. The procedure also allows us to carry out less common tests, such as looking at the chambers of the heart, taking blood samples from inside the heart, and measuring pressure from the heart chambers. If we feel these tests are appropriate, we will discuss them with you before referral. After a recovery period of up to four hours, you will be allowed home.
Pacemaker insertion: we implant pacemakers for both slow heart rates and heart failure. We also replace pacemakers that are reaching the end of this service. This procedure can be done under local anaesthetic if necessary, and is usually done as a day-case. However, occasionally, patients require an overnight stay.
Trans-oesophageal echocardiography: this procedure enables us to view some cardiac structural abnormalities more clearly. The echocardiography is done under sedation and involves passing a camera probe down the oesophagus.
Transthoracic echocardiography bubble studies: during a bubble study we inject blood that has been shaken to produce small bubbles into a vein. This allows us to identify any small holes between the heart chambers.
Dobutamine challenge stress test: during this test, we scan the patient twice: once at rest, and then again after either exercise or taking a drug that increases cardiac contraction. This allows us to look at the heart function under stress.
Implantable loop recorder insertion: we implant loop recorders to assist long-term heart rate and rhythm monitoring. These monitors can be implanted under local anaesthetic and are either injectable or require one stitch to close the site. The Cardiorespiratory Department runs follow-up clinics to help assess these monitors.
We also have facilities for inpatients. These include the emergency insertion of temporary pacemakers and pericardiocentesis (the removal of fluid from the tissue that surrounds the heart.
The Heart Centre contains a lot of specialised equipment, and can feel overwhelming. However, there is no reason to feel panicked: all the facilities help us provide the best possible level of care. It is usual for patients to be connected to monitors which may sound alarms, and staff often wear scrubs and surgical masks during procedures. Occasionally patients may require a drip or a face mask to deliver oxygen. However, all procedures will be explained fully and staff are happy to answer your questions.
The Heart Centre is located on the ground floor of Harrogate District Hospital, Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate, HG2 7SX
Unit manager: Andy Masters