Interventional Cardiology Services
You may have had symptoms of heart trouble. Symptoms include shortness of breath, angina (pain or discomfort in the chest, arm, or jaw), dizziness, or palpitations. Or perhaps your doctor found signs of heart problems during a physical exam. As a result, you may have had special tests, including a treadmill test, an echocardiogram, or a nuclear scan. The next step may be cardiac catheterization, which can help your doctor pinpoint the problem. The Cardiac catheterization can show if the blood vessels in the heart are clogged, and if there are any congenital abnormalities.
A Cardiac Catheterization is a common non-surgical procedure. It is used to help diagnose a heart problem. In some cases, catheterization is also used to treat heart disease. During the procedure, a long, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel. It is then gently guided toward your heart. Once the catheter is in place, x-rays and other tests are done. These tests help your doctor learn how well your heart is working.
This procedure is often done with the Catheterization (see above). When they see a blockage in an artery of the heart, angioplasty is done to open that vessel so that blood can once again flow through to the heart muscle. To do this, a catheter with a balloon at the tip is inserted into your artery to widen the passageway. The catheter and balloon are then removed.
After the procedure, the treatment is continued by aggressive risk-factor modification. Altering your lifestyle will help keep your heart condition from getting worse and may even improve the health of your heart.
This procedure is similar to the angioplasty, but after the balloon has widened the passageway of the artery, a stent is introduced through a catheter. A stent is a small metal coil or mesh tube that is placed in a narrowed artery to help improve blood flow to your heart. The stent permanently holds the passageway open and helps reduce the rate of restenosis, which is re-narrowing of the artery. After this procedure, you need to start taking anticoagulant medications to help prevent blood clots.
This is a small metal device that looks like a tiny umbrella (without the material). The filter is placed into the inferior vena cava (the large vein which returns the blood from the lower half of the body to the heart) enabling it to “trap” blood clots arising from the legs and preventing them from traveling to the lungs. Since the vast majority of pulmonary emboli originate from the lower body part, filters are mainly placed into the IVC.