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Service Glossary

This glossary provides descriptions and other names for the cardiac services and medications you can search for in the Find Your Heart a Home tool.

Cardiac Services

Note: Not all hospitals offer all of these services.


Service NameAlso Known AsDescription
Acute myocardial infarction treatment
  • Heart attack treatment
  • STEMI treatment
  • Emergency treatment to get blood flowing back to the heart as quickly as possible with the goal of limiting permanent heart muscle damage.
    Ambulatory Care ProgramOutpatient facilities identifying that they offer an Ambulatory Care Program may or may not include the following medical services:
  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterization (definition includes angiogram and cardiac cath)
  • Percutaneous coronary interventions, or PCI (for example, having a stent)
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Implantation of pacemakers
  • An outpatient facility is a place where you can get medical services and expect to go back home the same day. It can provide heart tests and procedures, for example to fix blocked arteries and implant devices to control heartbeats or correct for dangerous heart rhythms.
    Atrial fibrillation ablation
  • Pulmonary vein isolation ablation
  • Convergent procedure (also known as hybrid procedure)
  • MAZE procedure
  • A catheter or other device using different types of energy destroys small areas of the heart muscle that are causing irregular heartbeats.
    Cardiac Defibrillator Implantation
  • Automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD)
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a battery-powered device that can fix an abnormal heart rate or rhythm and prevent sudden death.
    Cardiac Surgery Program
    Hospitals identifying that they offer a Cardiac Surgery Program may or may not include the following:
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
  • CABG
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Open heart surgery
  • Valve surgery
  • Convergent procedure (also known as hybrid procedure)
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)
  • Aneurysm Surgery
  • Atrial Septal Defect Repair
  • Ventricular Septal Defect Repair
  • Congenital Heart Disease Surgery
  • Fontan procedure
  • Blalock-Taussig procedure
  • Pulmonary Artery Banding
  • Aortic Coartation Surgery
  • Surgery to correct transposition of the great arteries
  • MAZE Procedure
  • Surgery is performed to correct heart problems including procedures to bypass blocked coronary arteries, repair or replace heart valves that control blood flow or implant devices to control heartbeats. Surgeons also can work with a cardiologist to eliminate signals causing an irregular heart rhythm in a convergent procedure.
    Carotid Artery Stenting
  • Carotid angioplasty
  • CAS
  • Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a procedure that can be used to open narrowed carotid arteries in the neck by inserting a small expandable tube called a stent.
    Carotid Endarterectomy
    • CEA
    Carotid endarterectomy is surgery to remove plaque buildup in the carotid arteries in the neck.
    Congenital Heart Defect Intervention
  • Congenital cardiovascular malformation treatment
  • Heart birth defect treatment
  • Treatment of holes in the heart
  • Congenital heart defect intervention is a general term for a procedure to address a heart problem that was present from birth.
    Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
  • CABG
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Open heart surgery
  • Bypass surgery
  • Surgery is performed to attach a healthy blood vessel to the heart to bypass a blocked artery and improve blood flow to the heart muscle.
    Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization
  • Angiogram
  • Cardiac cath
  • Diagnostic cath
  • Cardiac catheterization is a test to check your heart where a thin tube called a catheter is placed in an artery of your arm or leg and gently threaded up into your heart.
    Electrophysiology Studies
    • EP studies
    An electrophysiology study, or EP study, is a test to see if there is a problem with your heartbeat (heart rhythm) and to find out how to fix it.
    Heart Failure ProgramHospitals identifying that they offer a Heart Failure (HF) Program may or may not include the following:
  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterization (definition includes angio and cardiac cath)
  • Heart transplant for advanced heart failure
  • Implantation of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)
  • Implantation of pacemakers, including biventricular pacemakers
  • Implantation of ventricular assist devices (heart pump)
  • Transcatheter Valve Intervention (TAVI)
  • An HF program has the ability to diagnose and treat heart failure – a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
    Left atrial appendage occlusion
    • Closure of left atrial appendage
    A basket-like device or other catheter closure system is used to seal off a small pouch in the wall of the heart’s top left chamber. The goal is to prevent blood clots from developing there and lower the chances of a stroke.
    Pacemaker Implantation
    • Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) 
    A pacemaker is a small battery-powered device that is placed under the skin in the upper chest. The pacemaker can send weak electrical impulses to the heart in order to keep a regular heartbeat. 
    Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • PCI treatment for heart attack
  • STEMI treatment
  • Angioplasty of the heart
  • Atherectomy of the heart
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Stenting of the heart
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention can be used to open a blocked coronary artery. The priority in this emergency treatment is to get blood flowing back to the heart quickly to limit damage to the heart muscle during a heart attack.
    Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for Elective and Emergency Cases
  • PCI treatment
  • Angioplasty of the heart
  • Atherectomy of the heart
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Stenting of the heart
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention for an elective case can be done on an outpatient basis or a later hospital visit without significant risk of heart attack. PCI for an emergency case should be performed as soon as possible.
    Percutaneous Peripheral Vascular Intervention
  • Balloon Angioplasty
  • Angioplasty of the leg
  • Atherectomy of the leg
  • PVI
  • Stenting of the leg
  • During a peripheral vascular intervention a small thin tube called a catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin and guided to the affected artery. When the catheter reaches the narrowed part of the artery a device such as a balloon or stent is used to open the vessel and improve blood flow.
    Transcatheter Valve Intervention
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Repair/Replacement (or TAVR)
  • Mitral Valve Transcatheter Valve Repair/Replacement
  • Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Repair/Replacement
  • TAVI
  • Transcatheter valve intervention is a minimally invasive procedure that uses catheters to navigate and implant specially designed devices to repair/replace a heart valve.



    MedicationBrand NamesDescription
    Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors Aceon, Accupril, Altace, Capoten, Lotensin, Mavik, Monopril, Prinivil, Univasc, Vasotec, ZestrilAngiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure to lessen the workload of the heart. These drugs also fight against some of the heart-damaging hormones that are made by the body in response to heart failure.
    Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARB) Atacand, Avapro, Benicar, Cozaar, Diovan, Micardis, TevetenAngiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure to lessen the workload of the heart. These drugs may be used as an alternative for patients who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitor side effects.
    Aspirin Bayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin    Everyone has small elements in their blood that help the blood clot – these are called blood platelets. If you cut your finger, platelets help stop the bleeding. However, in a heart attack, stroke, or when a new stent is placed, the same mechanisms that make blood platelets form a clot can be very harmful. Aspirin fights some of the mechanisms that cause a blood clot, so it is given to patients to reduce blood clot formation. Taken daily, aspirin can help reduce the risk for a first or second heart attack or stroke, especially for people with risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
    Beta-BlockersCoreg, Corgard, Inderal, Levatol, Lopressor, Sectral, Tenormin, Toprol, TrandateBeta-blockers are a class of drugs used to control symptoms of heart failure that are made worse by certain hormones called catecholamines. The body releases these hormones as part of its response to heart failure. For this and other reasons, beta-blockers have been shown to be effective for treating most people who have heart failure. Beta-blockers also may help lower blood pressure and lower heart rate, which may have additional benefits in some patients. Slowing the heart rate allows the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart) to fill more completely and this can help some patients with heart failure.
    P2Y12 Inhibitor MedicationBrilinta, Effient, PlavixLike aspirin, a P2Y12 inhibitor medication is used to reduce the formation of blood clots. These medications work by a different mechanism and thus are often used in combination with aspirin. This helps lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots forming in a new stent.
    StatinsAltoprev, Crestor, Lescol, Lipitor, Livalo, Mevacor, Pravachol, ZocorStatins are used to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and can help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.