Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is a test that checks the blood pressure inside a partially blocked artery of your heart. This minimally invasive procedure uses a special probe to measure the arterial blood pressure on both sides of a partial blockage. The results help your doctor decide if the blockage requires treatment.
Find a cardiologist who practices at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals or call (702) 616-4900 if you would like to learn more about minimally invasive diagnostic procedures, such as FFR, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. You can also take our heart health assessment.
Why Fractional Flow Reserve is Performed
The arteries of the heart (coronary arteries) deliver oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. If a coronary artery becomes partially blocked, it can decrease oxygen supply to areas of the heart muscle. This can result in a heart attack.
However, not every partially blocked artery actually causes reduced oxygen to the heart tissue. FFR testing helps your doctor determine whether your blockage needs immediate treatment or if it can be carefully monitored for a while.
Your doctor may recommend FFR if you are experiencing chest pain, which can be a sign that your heart is not getting enough oxygen. Usually, doctors combine FFR testing with cardiac catheterization. This lets your doctor see the inside of your coronary arteries to look for blockages.
What to Expect from FFR at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
FFR testing may be done in the cardiac cath lab of a hospital or in an outpatient setting. You will receive sedation during the procedure to help you feel more comfortable and ease any minor pain.
During the procedure, your cardiologist will make a small incision in your groin to access a large artery. He or she will insert a very thin guide wire with a pressure sensor at the tip. Your cardiologist will gently advance the wire to the arteries of your heart. You may feel mild pressure or a slight burning sensation in your chest during this procedure. These sensations are normal, and your anesthesia provider will keep you as comfortable as possible.
The FFR procedure carries the same general risks as cardiac catheterization, including heart attack and excessive bleeding. Talk with your doctor at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican's San Martin or Siena Campus about the goals of the procedure, the risks involved, and how you might lower your risks.
Recovering from Fractional Flow Reserve
After the procedure, you will rest for an hour or more in a recovery area. Your health care team will treat any pain you are experiencing.
You will receive detailed written instructions about how to care for your incision when you go home. You should promptly report any unusual symptoms to your cardiologist, including bleeding or swelling at the incision site, heart palpitations, or high fever.
FFR testing can help ensure that you receive appropriate treatment for any coronary artery blockages. Because it is a minimally invasive procedure, the recovery period is usually short and uncomplicated.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican's San Martin and Siena Campuses provide minimally invasive cardiac surgeries, such as FFR, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.