The interventional cardiology program is dedicated to the non-surgical management of patients with cardiac and peripheral vascular disorders. Our physicians perform the following procedures:
- Coronary angioplasty and stenting
- Coronary angioscopy
- Percutaneous clot removal for heart and vascular blockages
- Peripheral arterial angioplasty and stenting
- Renal artery stenting
These procedures are performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory by a specialty trained cardiologist and cardiovascular team of nurses and technicians.
First, a cardiac catheterization is performed. After giving medication for relaxation and sedation, the doctor numbs the site with local anesthesia. Next, the doctor inserts a sheath (a thin plastic tube) into an artery usually in your groin. A long, narrow, hollow tube, called a catheter, is passed through the sheath and guided up the blood vessel to the arteries in your heart. A small amount of contrast material is injected through the catheter. The doctor can see the blood vessels, valves, and chambers on a TV screen.
An interventional procedure starts out in the same way as a diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Once the catheter engages the artery with the blockage, the doctor will perform the interventional procedure.
In balloon angioplasty, the cardiologist passes a tiny deflated balloon through the catheter to the vessel. The balloon is inflated to compress the plaque against the walls of the artery, flattening it out so that blood can once again flow through the vessel freely. In order to keep the artery open, cardiologists commonly employ a device called a coronary stent. This is an expandable metal mesh tube that is implanted during angioplasty at the site of the blockage. Once in place, the stent pushes against the wall of the artery to keep it open. The procedure usually lasts about 1 to 2 hours, but the preparation and recover time add several hours. Usually, you will stay overnight and return home the next day.
One of the principle indicators of quality in medicine is volume. Generally, those in the field of medicine who do more do it best. The fact that our interventional cardiologists conduct one of the busiest interventional coronary and peripheral vascular programs in the region is a testament to our high quality and excellent outcomes.