Our cardiologists and cardiac care professionals perform thousands of life-saving procedures each year through interventional and non-invasive techniques. We offer a full range of cardiac catheterization and interventional procedures, such as angioplasties, percutaneous coronary intervention and stents (including drug-eluting stents). Our team also implants devices and performs peripheral interventions.
Interventional procedures can be performed during a diagnostic cardiac catheterization (cath) if a blockage is identified or may be scheduled as a follow-up to a cardiac cath during which the interventional cardiologist diagnosed the presence of coronary artery disease.
Like diagnostic cardiac caths, interventional procedures are performed by threading a long, slender, flexible catheter through arteries in the groin, wrist or other location to the exact spot in the heart where the narrowing or blockage has occurred. Fluoroscopy is used by the interventional cardiologist performing the procedure to guide the catheter to the location of the blockage. Once the catheter is in place, interventional procedures such as balloon angioplasty, stent placement, rotablation or others can be performed.
The positive results of our interventional cardiology program have led to improved heart health for thousands of patients throughout the region.
Interventional Cardiology Procedures:
- Balloon Angioplasty: Also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), balloon angioplasties are minimally-invasive procedures performed by inserting a small balloon at the tip of a flexible catheter close to the narrowed area of the coronary artery. The balloon is then inflated, compressing the blockage (usually fatty plaque) against the artery wall, thereby increasing the diameter of the artery and improving blood flow. At times, re-closure can occur. To offset this possibility, a stent may be inserted also using a catheter.
- Balloon Angioplasty with Stenting: In many cases, balloon angioplasties will be accompanied by a stenting procedure which will help to keep the artery open. A stent is a tiny, coiled wire or mesh tube which holds the walls of the artery in place, improving blood flow. Stents can also be inserted during a heart attack to quickly open blockages and reduce damage to the heart muscle.
- Drug-Eluting Stents: May be used to reduce the risk that the artery will restenose (or close). These stents have a thin coating of a medication which reduces the risk of restenosis.
- Atherectomy: The removal of plaque and calcium deposits that line the walls of the artery and cause blockages. Atherectomy makes stent placement easier and more effective. There are special devices with diamond-coated tips which rotate either 360 degrees or forward facing within the vessel to break through stubborn calcium. We can also use laser technology to vaporize the plaque and allow for stenting and return of maximum blood flow within the artery.
- Intravascular Lithotripsy: Our heart & vascular team utilizes the Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) System to crack both medial and intimal calcium while minimizing trauma to the vessel wall for the treatment of severely calcified coronary artery disease. The catheter is a tube-like device called a balloon catheter that contains integrated lithotripsy emitters, which can break up hard materials (calcification) that restrict blood flow to the heart. This helps open the blood vessels when the balloon is inflated (angioplasty).
- Protected PCI: Protected stenting is a widely accepted procedure using Impella®, the world’s smallest heart pump, to temporarily assist the pumping function of the heart. Impella may enable placement of a stent for patients who are at high risk for complications or have severe heart disease.
- Carotid Stenting: A minimally invasive treatment for carotid artery disease in which a vascular surgeon inserts a slender, metal-mesh tube, called a stent, which expands inside your carotid artery to increase blood flow in areas blocked by plaque. The carotid arteries supply blood to the brain; therefore carotid stenting minimizes stroke risk.
- PFO Closure: Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common abnormality that affects 20 to 30% of the adult population. It is a hole that exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Normally the foramen ovale closes at birth but sometimes it does not. Having a PFO is most often associated with strokes but it can contribute to other conditions as well. Closure can easily be accomplished through a small catheter placed through a large vein in the leg that leads to the heart and a closure device is deployed to seal the hole.