By using the 'Menu ' button you can quickly navigate to each treatment.



Each treatment is specifically tailored to the individual patient and his or her heart disease or risk factors.


This is discussed with you by your treating cardiologist. On the left, you will find additional information about different types of treatments in cardiology.

Click on the treatment on which you would like more information.
Click here to download an empty medication list for patients.
Click here to download an empty heart failure diary for patients.

The above documents can then be completed yourself.

How much does my treatment or inclusion in AZ Turnhout cost?

Click here for more information on the WEBSITE of AZ Turnhout.






The cardiac patient often needs to take a lot of medication and it is beyond the scope of this site to go into details for every type of medicine you may need to take; for specific questions, you should contact your GP or cardiologist. Some examples of commonly used medicines are: aspirin, cholesterol lowering agents, beta blockers, blood pressure lowering agents, blood thinners...

aspirine most commonly used blood thinner that is more than a century old! Can be prescribed in prevention or after a cardiac or vascular procedure. In cardiology used in very low dose (80-100 mg), this is in contrast to the analgesic dose (300-500mg).
cholesterol lowering drugs most frequently prescribed are the so-called 'statins' that induce significant decrease in cholesterol levels. Since cholesterol plays a role in the process of atherosclerosis (artery narrowing), a statin is standard in the treatment of coronary arteries and can also be prescribed preventively in high-risk patients such as humans diabetes. In case of muscle ache, a potential side effect, please contact your GP or cardiologist before stopping.
beta blockers medication that lowers both heart rate and blood pressure, which is often a desired effect in patients after heart attack, with arrhythmias, elevated blood pressure, etc.
blood pressure lowering agents here are too many products to list, for specific information you should turn to your GP or cardiologist.
anticoagulants in addition to aspirin are also commonly used in cardiology: Marcoumar®, Marevan®, Sintrom®, Brilique®, Efient®, Xarelto®, Pradaxa®, Eliquis®, Lixiana®. For specific information, please contact your GP or cardiologist.







A stent is a metal ‘framework’ with a polymer coating used to dilate narrowing at the level of the coronary arteries. It has almost completely replaced the former balloon dilation. The stent is gradually embedded because a new layer of tissue forms over the 'mesh' of the stent. There are two types of stents, the 'naked' 'bare metal' stents (BMS) and the 'drug-eluting' stents (DES). Stenting always involves a'cardiac catheterization with coronarography' and is performed at the Cathlab.





Pacemaker / Defibrillator



A pacemaker is a device that is implanted in patients with arrhythmias where the heart rate becomes too slow. The electrical signals in the heart are continuously measured via 1 or 2 electrodes in the heart chambers. The pacemaker then gives an impulse only when needed. The battery of the current devices lasts on average 7 to 10 years. The implantation is done under local anaesthetic and requires a hospital stay of 2 nights.

A cardiac resynchronization pacemaker is a special pacemaker with a third electrode inserted to the left side of the heart to give a perfectly synchronous stimulation of the heart. Used in specific cases of heart failure.

Leaflet (dutch)

A defibrillator is a device that can deliver an electric shock in case of a life-threatening arrhythmia. In certain cases, when the risk of such arrhythmias is rated as high by your cardiologist, this may be advised as a preventive measure against sudden death.
For a resynchronization pacemaker or defibrillator you will be referred to a specialized centre.





PFO / ASD closure



The patent foramen ovale or PFO and atrium septum defect or ASD are 2 forms of an opening between the two front chambers (atria) of the heart (see figure below).

Everyone has a foramen ovale until the time of birth. In the fetus there is still a connection between the systemic circulation (left part of the heart) and the smaller lung circulation (right part of the heart) through the foramen.
Shortly after birth, this structure closes, separating the left and right part of the heart. In 25 to 30% of cases, the closure does not take place completely and a small opening remains. This is called the patent foramen ovale.

In the case of an atrium septum defect (ASD), during organ formation in the fetus, a hole between the left and right front chamber occurs due to incomplete growth of 2 membranes. Often this is noticed in children by a heart murmur. Sometimes this still closes spontaneously during the first years of life. If the hole remains present in adulthood, this may lead to overload of the right ventricles resulting in heart failure or overpressure in lung circulation. A PFO may be associated with CVA (stroke) of unclear origin.

Not all PFOs or ASDs should be treated. Whether this is so will be determined by your treating cardiologist. The treatment of a PFO and an ASD is basically the same.


The patent foramen ovale can be closed in two ways: by open heart surgery or by percutanee closure with an 'umbrella'.

The possibility of a percutaneous closure is always considered. An ultrasound has already estimated the size of the patent foramen ovale. Depending on technical issues and expert opinion, the decision on which closure technique is made.

The closure of a PFO is done with a cardiac catheterization through the groin, under a short general anaesthetic.


Through the catheter, an ‘umbrella’ is brought in to close the opening. The umbrella is folded open and pulled over the opening against the left side. The catheter is pulled back to the right side of the opening and the second part of the umbrella is unfolded in the same way. The result is checked by ultrasound and contrast injection (some patients are allergic to the contrast dye and have to report this to the nurse on admission).
Once all the checks have been done, the tube will be removed from the groin and a pressure bandage is applied. After recovery from the anesthesia, the patient can return to the ward.


 As with any invasive procedure, there are potentially some risks; these are those of the anesthesia itself, those related to the contrast used, or to the blood thinners (necessary for 3 to 6 months). There is also an increased risk of mild cardiac arrhythmia due to irritation inside the heart.








Certain arrhythmias are eligible for ‘radiofrequency or cryo-ablation' via a catheter through the groin. Depending on the location of the arrhythmia, such ablation can be relatively simple or quite complex, and can be done under slight sedation or general anesthesia.

For electrophysiological studies and ablation we work closely with Ziekenhuis Oost Limburg in Genk. The procedure itself does not take place in AZ Turnhout, but the preoperative consultations and follow-ups do.

Click here for the dutch patient information leaflet (ZOL)

Below you will find a link to videos from ZOL Genk about ablation of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.






Cardiac surgery



There is a variety of heart surgeries and for this we work closely with the University Hospital in Leuven. The most common procedures are: coronary bypass and valve surgery. The latter can be done by surgical intervention or by percutaneous technique.

Percutaneous technique means the following:

- valve replacement or repair technique via a catheter through the groin or other large blood vessel.

- These are often called TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) or Mitraclip ®. Because the chest does not need to be opened, the recovery is usually much quicker.

- To see if an individual patient is eligible, careful assessment is done and the case is always discussed in a "Heart team" meeting with cardiologists and heart surgeons of UZ Leuven.

Click here to go to the website of Cardiac Surgery UZ Leuven.





Cardiac rehabilitation



Cardiac rehabilitation in AZ Turnhout is a service with a supervised program for physical exercise to help people recovering from myocardial infarction, stent implantation, heart failure or after heart surgery. This by Dr. Bekaert, Dr. Debie and their team, in a multidisciplinary environment.

Click here for the dutch patient information leaflet.

Telephone number cardiac rehabilitation: 014 44 44 86.

Below is a video that gives an idea about the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service.





Poli Heart failure



Op een aparte raadpleging voor hartfalen patiënten wordt meer tijd genomen om het complexe probleem van hartfalen te benaderen, met aandacht voor de individuele situatie van elke patient , op medisch maar ook op psychosociaal vlak. U wordt gezien door zowel de gespecialiseerde hartfalen verpleegkundige als de hartfalen cardioloog. Zo nodig gebeurt een extra controle van een pacemaker of ICD en wordt de medicatie aangepast.

Klik hier voor de brochure i.v.m. Hartfalen.







Would you like an appointment with one of our cardiologists? Click here for more info.




Steenweg op Merksplas 44
2300 Turnhout

+32 14 40 60 11


Rubensstraat 166
2300 Turnhout

+32 14 40 60 11


Rubensstraat 166
2300 Turnhout
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