Interventional cardiology is a non-surgical procedure that uses a catheter to repair heart issues such as damaged or weakened veins, heart structure problems, and restricted arteries. Fortunately, there are procedures that can be used to treat multiple heart and valve diseases without a long hospital stay or invasive surgery. Some examples of the heart conditions that can be managed and treated with interventional cardiology include:
• Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
• Advanced Congestive Heart Failure
• Carotid Artery Disease
• Coronary Artery Disease
• Heart Rhythm Disorders
• Heart Valve Disorders
• Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
What interventional cardiology procedure is used for heart rhythm disorders?
Heart rhythm disorders, also known as arrhythmia, affects the electrical impulse of the heart. Instead of beating as it should, the atria will quiver and cause an irregular, slow, or fast heartbeat. For heart rhythm disorders, your cardiologist will perform an ablation procedure to fix the problem.
An ablation procedure consists of your cardiologist inserting a catheter into a blood vessel – normally via your groin or shoulder – to reach your heart. Your cardiologist will identify where the irregular heartbeat is stemming from and use extreme heat/cold to form a small scar in your heart tissue. This scar will block the abnormal heartbeats.
What interventional cardiology procedure is used for heart blockage?
Angiogram and angioplasty are two interventional cardiology procedures used for heart blockage. Allow us to explain when these procedures would be necessary and how your cardiologist would perform the procedure:
1. Angiogram/Heart Catheterization
An angiogram procedure allows your cardiologist to see where the restriction of blood flow is occurring in your heart. Your cardiologist will use a catheter to insert iodine dye into your blood vessels, acting as a contrast agent. Using X-ray imaging, clear pictures will be taken to determine exactly where the blood flow issue is occurring.
2. Angioplasty/Arterial Stent
If you have a narrowed or blocked coronary artery, your cardiologist will perform an interventional cardiology procedure called an angioplasty to help promote blood supply back to the heart. During the procedure, your cardiologist will use a catheter to carry an uninflated balloon to the problem site. Upon inflation, it will force the plaque to flatten against the wall of the artery, ultimately widening the artery and forcing the blockage to the side.
If your cardiologist deems it necessary, an arterial stent will be implanted during the angioplasty procedure. An arterial stent is placed to keep the blood vessel open. This is a permanent addition, and the artery lining will eventually grow over it.