Interventional Cardiology

Interventional Cardiology

Interventional cardiologists perform cardiac catheterization to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which causes the arteries to narrow and restrict blood flow. If left untreated CAD may result in a heart attack. These physicians also treat aortic valve disease, patent foramen ovale (a heart defect), and peripheral artery disease in the legs.

Cardiac Catheterization and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

When a blocked artery is located, an interventional cardiologist may perform a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty along with the placement of a stent to keep the artery open. Expert cardiologists also perform high risk circulatory assist PCI on patients who have very poor left ventricular (LV) function.

Transradial Cardiac Catheterization

Traditionally, cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention are performed by inserting a catheter in the femoral artery in the groin and guiding it up through the heart. This approach, while effective, requires hours of patient immobilization after the procedure and can result in complications – such as excessive bleeding. Patients who experience the most serious bleeding complications requiring blood transfusions have a higher risk of mortality.

At Good Samaritan, highly skilled cardiologists use a different, less intrusive approach, called the transradial cardiac catheterization. This technique reduces the risk of complications and improves patient comfort. The catheterization is performed through the radial artery in the wrist, and because it is less intrusive, patients have shorter hospitalizations and the vascular complication rate is near zero percent. While this approach has been use internationally for decades, few American interventional cardiologists have been trained in this technique.

Click here for more information on the Transradial Cardiac Catherization Program

Click here to go back to Treatments at the Heart & Vascular Center

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