Cardiology in Israel: Assuta’s center of excellence

The Center for Cardiovascular Surgery at Assuta provides diagnosis and treatment in cardiology,
cardiac surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and cardiovascular medicine.

Doctors at Assuta – experts in their fields of cardiology – use cutting-edge methods, technologies,
and equipment to perform surgeries.

Cardiac Surgery

  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Maze surgery and other procedures to treat atrial fibrillation
  • Aortic surgery

The center treats cardiac patients after coronary catheterization, pacemaker implantation,
and other procedures.

Cardiothoracic Surgery

  • Lung and chest (mediastinal) surgeries using minimally invasive (laparoscopic) approaches or robot-assisted techniques

Heart rhythm disorders

The heart is a muscular organ that pumps oxygen-enriched blood to all of the body’s organs at a
high rate – about 100,000 beats per day.

Each beat is a complex process in which the heart muscle contracts, the valves open and close at set times,
and the blood is ejected under precise pressure through the aorta.
This happens about 4,000 times an hour.

The heart's electrical system conducts this complex orchestra.


The series of problems in the heart's electrical conduction system are called arrhythmias.
These abnormalities may cause a person’s pulse to be too fast, too slow, distorted, or irregular.
Arrhythmias range in risk levels, and some can be fatal.

Patients with a history of heart disease (heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, etc.) or
certain genetic diseases are at increased risk of developing arrhythmias.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-Fib) is a common, non-life-threatening arrhythmia characterized by a very fast and irregular rhythm.

Ventricular tachycardia: A fast abnormal heart rate

Ventricular tachycardia is caused by abnormal electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart,
which cause the heart to beat quickly – over 100 beats per minute.

These irregular heartbeats prevent the heart chambers from properly filling with blood.
This limits the amount of blood that is pumped to the body.

Treatment options include medication, cardiac ablation (a procedure to destroy or scar the heart tissue that is causing incorrect electrical signals),
or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

Pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) surgery

For people with serious arrhythmia, cardiologists may decide to implant an ICD.
This device’s computer constantly monitors heart rate and rhythm.
If the heart is far out of rhythm or beats way too fast or slow, the ICD sends out a shock to get it back into rhythm.

The tiny ICD is implanted under the skin near the clavicle – in the upper part of the chest.
The procedure is done under local anesthesia.

ICDs are recommended for patients experiencing severe ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation
(a condition in which the heart beats rapidly and erratically, causing heart chambers to quiver and weakening the ability to pump blood).

Maze surgery

Maze surgery treats atrial fibrillation, and is used as an option following medication and cardiac ablation.

In this technique, radio waves and liquid frozen nitrogen are used to ablate (purposely destroy or scar) heart tissue.
This scar “maze” stops the heart’s abnormal signals.

Today’s best practice treatment methods include classic Maze surgery, which provides high success rates.


Coronary artery bypass surgery

Coronary artery bypass (also called coronary artery bypass grafting - CABG) is a surgical solution for people suffering from atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of cholesterol, fats, and other substances in the artery walls.
This accumulation makes the arteries thicker, narrower, and stiffer, which can restrict blood flow.

Bypass surgery is considered the third and last line of treatment – after the first line,
which includes modifying lifestyle and conservative medication treatment, and the second line, which includes catheterization.

The long-term effectiveness of bypass surgery, in terms of reducing morbidity and mortality, is unquestionable,
and is considered the best of all possible alternatives.

Cardiac (heart) catheterizations

Assuta’s Cardiac Catheterization Unit is one of Israel’s leading facilities.
The unit performs over 5,000 catheterizations per year – by top senior cardiologist in Israel, using the most advanced technologies.

Assuta's catheterization team specializes in diagnosing and treating cardiological problems,
tailoring treatments to the specific medical needs of each patient.
The unit is known for its supportive environment dedicated to professional, personalized service.

Catheterization procedures

Assuta performs an arrays of heart catheterization procedures, including:

  • Diagnostic catheterizations to determine and confirm a patient’s medical condition
  • Therapeutic catheterizations for targeted treatments
  • Electrophysiological testing for, and treatment of arrhythmias
  • Pacemaker implantation
  • Cardiac surgery, including bypass surgery, valve surgery, and major vascular surgery

The benefits of undergoing a catheterization at Assuta

  • At Assuta, patients can choose their catheterization specialist from among the best cardiologists in the country.
  • Surgeons use a broad array of drug-eluting stents.
    These stents are inserted into the patient’s arteries to support them and keep them open,
    while slowly releasing medication into the body.
    The treating physician chooses the best stent based on the patient’s arterial anatomy.
  • Assuta has earned a reputation for its personalized patient service and fast-track scheduling,
    with discrete care and compassion.
  • Israel is known for its catheterization expertise, conducting over 40,000 procedures a year.

The leading edge in catheterization

Catheterization is a highly safe, routine procedure, performed quickly and urgently to save patients’ lives.
It can be used as a minimally invasive procedure instead of bypass surgery and for heart valve surgery.

Catheterization is being applied to stroke prevention and treatment of eye, kidney, and other conditions.

Diagnostic catheterization

Diagnostic coronary angiography is an accurate and reliable tool to diagnose atherosclerosis (narrowing of the coronary arteries).
It is invaluable for visualizing the heart valves and chambers,
and for diagnosing and monitoring congenital (from birth) heart defects.

Diagnostic catheterization is a brief, painless exam, performed under local anesthesia and light sedation.
The physician inserts a very thin tube into the patient's artery, through a groin or wrist artery.
Guided by state-of-the-art imaging, the cardiologist advances the catheter through the arteries to the heart.
Viewing artery and heart structures in real time, the physician can identify coronary artery blockages, valve malfunctions,
and other problems, and determine their severity.

Armed with this information, the cardiologist can diagnose conditions and make decisions about immediate or future treatment.

Therapeutic catheterization

When therapeutic catheterization is performed electively (planned) to treat a patient’s condition it can prolong
(in some cases) the patient's life and improve quality of life.

Therapeutic catheterization (called percutaneous coronary intervention – PCI) is considered the best practice in
interventional cardiology for coronary heart disease.

Once the cardiologist performs the diagnostic catheterization to diagnose the patient’s condition and map out each problem,
the cardiologist performs the therapeutic catheterization, hopefully in a single procedure.

In some instances, the cardiologist can perform a "virtual catheterization" using only a cardiac CT scan,
which may provide enough information to proceed with the therapeutic catheterization.

Therapeutic catheterization is a short, painless procedure, performed under local anesthesia and light sedation.
The cardiologist inserts a very thin tube into the patient's artery, through a groin or wrist artery.
Guided by state-of-the-art imaging, the cardiologist threads the catheter through the arteries to the heart.
During the procedure, the cardiologist opens constrictions and blockages in the arteries and/or implants a heart valve.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for aortic valve conditions

Narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve (stenosis) is a very common problem, which can cause patients numerous symptoms or
trigger heart failure.

Assuta’s cardiovascular team provides a multidisciplinary approach to assessment, management,
and treatment of patients with heart valve conditions.
The team works in concert to recommend treatment and determine when surgical intervention is necessary.

About the TAVI procedure

Using transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), Assuta's cardiologists replace the diseased aortic valve.
During this minimally invasive procedure, cardiologists deliver a crimped bio-prosthetic aortic valve through the groin arteries,
and deploy the new valve inside the diseased valve to immediately widen the valve opening.

Patients trust Assuta’s multidisciplinary cardiology team, innovative technologies,
and state-of-the-art facilities to perform TAVI safely and effectively.

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