Update to phone lines at our Birchmount and General Hospitals: If calling through Birchmount main line (416-495-2400), add “7” when dialing an extension. If calling through General main line (416-438-2911), add “8” when dialing an extension.

Interventional Cardiology

Interventional cardiology services correct problems with your heart.

The following procedural services have been centralized at the regional cardiac care centre at Centenary Hospital which has three advanced catheterization labs for performing procedures and include coronary angiogram, percutaneous coronary intervention, advanced chronic total occlusion and emergency heart attack


Coronary angiography is an X-ray examination of the blood vessels (coronary arteries) that supply blood to your heart.

A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses X-ray images to see your heart’s blood vessels. The test is done to determine if there are blockages in your hearts blood vessels. The coronary angiogram is part of a group of procedures known as heart (cardiac) catheterizations which are procedures that use catheters to undertake minimally invasive procedures. A very small tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in your wrist or upper thigh (groin area), and guided towards the heart. Then a dye is used with a special X-rays to show inside of your heart, along with the blood vessels inside the heart.

Who’s it for?

Doctors use angiograms to assess the condition of your heart, and to determine if any further procedures are required. This procedure is recommended for people who:

  • Symptoms of coronary artery disease, such as chest pain (angina)
    – Pain in your chest, jaw, neck or arm that can’t be explained by other tests
    – New or increasing chest pain (unstable angina)
  • Have recently recovered from a heart attack
  • Have had preliminary tests that indicate heart disease
  • A heart defect you were born with (congenital heart disease)
  • A heart valve problem
  • Other blood vessel problems or a chest injury

During an angiogram, your doctor may use a balloon to restore blood flow to your heart. This is called an angioplasty.

Your heart’s arteries can become narrow and clogged over time from a buildup of fat (cholesterol). This can cause reduced blood flow to your heart, which can lead to a heart attack. A coronary angioplasty – also referred to as a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) – is a medical procedure that is done to widen arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. The coronary angioplasty will enable improved blood flow through these arteries to the heart, without the need for open heart surgery.

Scarborough Health Network is the first hospital in Ontario to provide stand-alone angioplasty (PCI) services.

Who’s it for?

A coronary angioplasty is needed by people who:

  • Have had a heart attack that caused major damage to your heart
  • Have chronic heart disease leading to major blockages in their heart vessels

For additional resources please refer to the following:

A chronic total occlusions (CTO) are blockages that have typically been present for more than three months. These blockages are a result of severe build-up of fatty deposits or plaque within the arteries (atherosclerosis) and are one of the complications from coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD occurs when the artery or arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked because of atherosclerosis. When the heart does not receive enough blood, a person may have chest pain (angina), shortness of breath or a heart attack. These symptoms occur with exertion and sometimes at rest.

These blockages are a result of severe build-up of fatty deposits or plaque within the arteries. Patients with CTO have blockages in their hearts that they could have been living with for months or even years. They might be suffering from chest pain or shortness of breath during physical activities.

Individuals with CTOs may experience the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain, pressure or tightness (angina pectoris)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the upper body and arm
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

A chronic total occlusion (CTO) angioplasty procedure is a medical procedure that is done to widen patient’s vessels to supply blood to the heart.

With the advent of advanced technology and innovative percutaneous techniques, interventional cardiologists have improved the outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention, making it a viable option for some patients who are experiencing symptoms related to their CTO.

Scarborough Health Network’s (SHN) Structural Heart Disease Clinic provides access to highly-specialized cardiac services closer to home for patients suffering from aortic stenosis, a serious heart valve disease, in Scarborough and surrounding communities.

Located at SHN’s regional cardiac care centre at Centenary Hospital, our Structural Heart Disease Clinic supports patients throughout their journey of care. The clinic team of  interventional and diagnostic cardiologists, cardiac surgeon, and a nurse practitioner provide:

  • Consultation and multidisciplinary assessments for procedure suitability
  • State-of-the-art diagnostic testing
  • Arrangement of valve repair treatments, including trans-catheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), which is performed by an SHN cardiologist at a cardiac facility at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Tracking of patients’ status through their care journey up to their procedure
  • Recovery on-site at Centenary and post-procedural follow-ups

Learn more

Ocean e-Referral

We are now accepting Ocean eReferrals! For additional information, please email your Ontario Health East Deployment Team at contact@ereferralontarioeast.ca

SHN, the Scarborough Ontario Health Team (SOHT), and Scarborough Family Physicians Network (SFPN) are working together to support healthcare providers in our community who may be interested in onboarding onto Ocean. Get started by completing the Ontario Health East online form.

Emergency Heart Attack Care

SHN’s emergency cardiac service fast-tracks patients in Scarborough and Durham who are having a heart attack, so that they can get the needed life-saving treatment as quickly as possible. Known as Code STEMI (ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction), the emergency service involves the close collaboration of partner hospitals, Toronto Paramedic Services, and Durham Region Emergency Medical Services.

This service is set into motion when an emergency call is made for a patient suffering a heart attack. The patient will be picked up and taken by ambulance to the regional cardiac centre at SHN’s Centenary Hospital, where they will be brought directly to the catheterization labs for an emergency coronary angioplasty to unblock the artery causing the heart attack. This is all done within a crucial 90-minute target window.

Following the emergency procedure, the patient is initially cared for in the coronary care unit (CCU) at Centenary, and then sent home or to the hospital closer to where the patient lives for further recovery.

Step 1: Call 9-1-1

Emergency Services will get you to the care you need the fastest! In Scarborough-Durham, the ambulance will take you directly to the regional cardiac centre at SHN’s Centenary hospital. You will be fast-tracked to get life-saving treatment right away.

Step 2: Take Aspirin

If the 911 operator advises and you are not allergic, chew and swallow one adult Aspirin—or two baby Aspirin (80 mg tablets). This can help to prevent blood clotting.

Step 3: Try to relax

Stop all physical activity and lie down. Remain calm until the ambulance arrives.

  • Chest pain
  • Pain going to arms, neck or jaw
  • Nausea, shortness of breath, or cold sweat
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness or light-headedness