Each year our cardiologists perform more than 2,200 coronary interventional procedures.
Interventional cardiology is a cardiac specialty that deals specifically with catheter based, less invasive diagnosis and treatment of various heart diseases. PinnacleHealth serves as a regional referral center, offering patients and referring physicians immediate, 24/7 access to experienced interventional cardiologists and on-site cardiovascular surgical capability.
The most common interventional cardiology procedure (catheterization) involves the insertion of a sheath into the groin or wrist artery and passing a catheter to the heart to open a blocked artery with balloon (angioplasty) or a stent (metal sleeve that is inserted to prop open the artery from within). Our interventionalists can also open artery blockages other than heart, including in the neck, kidney, and legs, without the need for surgery. This procedure can be done on an elective or emergency basis.
Cardiac catheterization is also a commonly used diagnostic procedure. This procedure involves threading a small catheter -- a long, thin, flexible, hollow tube -- through a vein or artery in the groin, from which blood flows into the heart. A technician injects dye into the catheter and takes moving x-ray pictures, or angiograms, of the dye as it travels to the heart.
Emergency Cardiac Catheterization
Emergency cardiac catheterization saves lives. When a patient is admitted with signs of a heart attack, the Emergency Department immediately activates a special process, called Code STEMI, to speed treatment through our nationally recognized Chest Pain Center. This notifies the cardiac catheterization team, the on-call cardiologist and the Cardiac Care Unit to expect a patient and prepare to begin treatment. Patients are then taken to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where the team can perform an angioplasty, a procedure in which a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted through an artery in the groin and guided through the artery to the site of the blockage. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to remove the clot causing the heart attack and restoring normal blood flow. A stent may also be placed at this time if the physician feels that it is necessary in order to keep the artery from closing again.
Advanced Interventional Procedures
We offer the full spectrum of advanced interventional therapies:
- Closure of heart wall defects (atrial septal defect)
- Appendage closure (for patients with atrial fibrillation)
- Replacement of heart valves with newer catheter approaches that do not require surgery
- Transradial (through the wrist area) cardiac catheterization program to offer patients significant benefits over femoral access (through the groin) , including a lower risk of complications, faster recovery and increased comfort
- Vascular services for arterial and venous disease management
- Catheter based therapies for valvular heart disease including aortic, mitral and pulmonic valvuloplasty. These also include device repair of leaky surgical valves
- Catheter-based replacement of aortic valves
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