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Fractional Flow Reserve – Computed Tomography (FFR-CT)

Fractional Flow Reserve – Computed Tomography (FFR-CT) is a type of non-invasive procedure (no incisions required / small puncture / low to moderate sedation) which uses HeartFlow® Analysis, to provide your doctor with a 3D model of your coronary arteries (arteries that supply blood to your heart) as a way to identify any potential blockages. Blockages typically occur due to coronary artery disease (CAD). During this condition, the arteries leading to the heart become narrowed or blocked (atherosclerosis), which may lead to a reduction in blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attack, or even death.

Despite being the most common form of heart disease, many of the non-invasive tests available today have low accuracy rates in detecting the disease. FFR-CT provides your doctor with highly accurate and detailed information necessary to identify which treatment plan would work best for your personal condition.

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, your doctor and treatment team will explain to you what to expect before, during and after the procedure, and potential risks of the procedure. Other recommendations include:

Talk to your doctor about

  • All medications, herbal products and dietary supplements you are currently taking and ask for their recommendations about each.
  • Diabetes and how to adjust your medicine on the day of the procedure.
  • Radiation exposure, especially for those that are pregnant
  • Any allergies to medicines, latex, tape, iodine, and anesthetic agents
  • Any history of bleeding disorders
  • Any implanted device (e.g. pacemaker or ICD)
  • Any body piercings on your chest or abdomen

Other suggestions

  • Eat a normal meal the evening before the procedure. However, do not eat, drink or chew anything after midnight before your procedure. If you must take medications, only take them with sips of water.
  • Leave all jewelry at home
  • Remove all makeup and nail polish
  • Wear comfortable clothing when you come to the hospital.
  • If you normally wear dentures, glasses, or hearing devices at home, plan to wear them during the procedure.

What to expect before the procedure

To determine whether you need this procedure, your doctor might perform a variety of tests, including:

Diagnostic tests and procedures

What to expect during the procedure

The FFR-CT procedure usually takes 30 minutes. The procedure is usually done in the catheterization lab. Check with your doctor about the details of your procedure. In general:

  • You will lie still on the table, and the table will slide into the CT scanner.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are uncomfortable in tight or closed spaces to see if you need medicine to relax you during the test.
  • During the scan, the technician will monitor your heart rate with an electrocardiogram (EKG).
  • You will hear soft buzzing, clicking, or whirring sounds when you are inside the scanner and the scanner is taking pictures.
  • You will be able to hear from and talk to the technician performing the test while you are inside the scanner. The technician may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds during the test to avoid blurring the images.
  • If additional information is needed from your coronary CT scan, your doctor may order a HeartFlow analysis.
  • Using your CT scan, the HeartFlow analysis creates a personalized digital 3D model of your coronary arteries. With trained specialists and powerful computer algorithms, the HeartFlow analysis calculates how much each blockage limits your blood flow.
  • Your doctor receives a digital, color-coded 3D model of your coronary arteries. This information helps you and your doctor determine the next step in your treatment plan.

What to expect after the procedure

After the procedure, you may be able to go home the same day. Other recommendations include:

General guidelines

  • Tell your nurse right away if you feel any chest pain or tightness, or any other pain, as well as any feelings of warmth, bleeding or pain at the insertion site.
  • Your doctor will give you instructions to follow during your recovery.
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900

Fractional Flow Reserve - Computed Tomography Treatment & Care

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