Interventional cardiology refers to a specialized field within cardiology that employs catheter-based techniques for diagnosing and treating various conditions such as coronary artery disease, vascular disease, structural heart disease, and congenital heart defects. Interventional cardiologists utilize diverse diagnostic tools and imaging techniques to assess cardiovascular functions, including blood pressure and blood flow within the different chambers of the heart as well as major arteries throughout the body.
Why you should visit an interventional cardiologist?
Your primary care physician can help manage general heart health problems and conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can increase the likelihood of developing heart disease. However, if a significant heart or blood vessel problem arises, it may be necessary to seek guidance from an interventional cardiologist. You should make an appointment with an interventional cardiologist if you:
- Experience changes in EKG testing that indicate a blockage in your coronary artery
- Require specialized heart treatments, such as cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, or heart valve repair
- Need specific care for a heart diseases problem like heart attack, unstable angina, or heart valve disease.
What types of tests are ordered by interventional cardiologists?
To evaluate your heart condition, the cardiologist will conduct a thorough medical history review and physical examination. Additionally, the cardiologist may order several tests, such as:
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Intravascular Ultrasound
- Myocardial Biopsy
- Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR)
- Coronary Flow Reserve (CFR)
- Optimal Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Common conditions treated by interventional cardiologists
Our interventional cardiologists may suggest one of the following minimally invasive therapies based on your particular condition:
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): This procedure replaces a damaged aortic valve caused by severe aortic stenosis. The process involves inserting a catheter into your groin to place a stent-like device across the aortic valve to widen the opening.
- MitraClip: This treatment is a viable option for those suffering from moderate-to-severe mitral regurgitation, a condition where the heart valve doesn’t close properly, causing blood to flow backward into the upper chamber of the heart.
- Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion: This procedure is an ideal solution for non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients who cannot tolerate long-term blood thinner use. It involves placing a permanent implant to decrease the risk of stroke and bleeding associated with common blood thinners.
- Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure: This procedure closes a hole between the upper chambers of the heart to reduce the risk of stroke.