Once your heart and/or vascular problems have been diagnosed, treatment may be needed. Treatment can be limited to prescription medications in some cases, but in other cases more involved measures are required.
The interventional cardiologists at Cardiology Associates are leaders in the use of catheter-based techniques to open plaque-filled vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease in the heart or peripheral arteries. Our physicians often perform procedures on high-risk patients with severe blockages or calcification in the vessels or valves of the heart. Our level of specialized expertise does make a difference.
ATHERECTOMY - Laser
Coronary or Peripheral Atherectomy is a catheter based procedure and performed in the heart or peripheral arteries to remove plaque buildup from the affected artery. During the procedure, a catheter is used to insert a small cutting device or laser into the blocked artery. The device is used to shave or remove plaque. The bits of plaque are removed from the body through the catheter or washed away in the bloodstream if they’re small enough.
ANGIOPLASTY - Balloon
Also known as percutaneous coronary angioplasty, PTCA, or peripheral angioplasty, is a catheter based procedure used to treat blockages in the coronary or peripheral arteries. Inserted via catheter the point of the blockage a simple balloon or a drug coated balloon is then dilated to open the area to resume blood flow.
BARE METAL AND DRUG ELUTING STENT
This catheter based procedure can be performed in the coronary (heart) or peripheral arteries. The procedure for a stent is a form of angioplasty where a catheter is inserted into the artery to the point of the blockage and a stent, a wire mesh device, is deployed inside the artery to keep it open and restore blood flow. A drug eluting stent emits a medication to help prevent the blockage from reoccuring.
IMPELLA HEART PUMP
Known as the world’s smallest heart pump, this device is used to assist in initiating life-saving cardiac interventions in critically ill patients with severe coronary artery disease or low ejection fraction and are considered to be at high risk. The pump is inserted via catheter into the left ventricle of the heart to temporarily augment the heart’s pumping function, allowing patients who may not otherwise be strong enough to undergo such a procedure. The pump also allows the heart to rest during recovery.
TRANSCATHETER VALVE REPLACEMENT (TAVR)
An alternative to open-heart surgery to replace the aortic valve for those patients with severe aortic stenosis, the aortic valve is replaced in a minimally invasive procedure deploying a valve replacement via catheter. This procedure is also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Intervention (TAVI). Click here for additional information.
LEFT ATRIAL APPENDAGE CLOSURE (LAAC)
An interventional procedure typically appropriate for patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB) who are on blood thinning medication. A LAAC uses a catheter-based umbrella-shaped, self-expanding device to seal off the left atrial appendage in the heart, where blot clots tend to form, reducing the risk of stroke. It also provides patients with an alternative to the lifelong use of blood-thinning medications.
The heart has natural electrical impulses to keep blood flowing the way it should creating the heartbeat, or heart rhythm and EP Studies are diagnostic tests used to evaluate your heart's electrical system and look for abnormal heart rhythms.
Conducted to identify the location of your heart’s abnormal electrical pathways. Electrical wires are inserted into a catheter and guided through blood vessels in your leg to your heart, providing information that is critical to diagnosing and treating arrhythmias. While inside the chambers of the heart, the wires record abnormal impulses or heartbeats. Once the abnormality is discovered, it may be treated with radiofrequency catheter ablation.
The electrophysiologist may also map the spread of the heart’s electrical impulses during each beat. This may be done to help locate the source of an abnormal heartbeat.
IMPLANTABLE CARDIAC DEFIBRILLATOR (ICD)
An ICD is a small electronic device that is placed on the chest under the skin. It constantly monitors your heart rhythm. If it senses a dangerous rapid heart rhythm, it delivers pulses or shocks to the heart and restores a normal rhythm. ICDs are 99% effective in stopping life-threatening arrhythmias and are the most successful therapy to treat ventricular fibrillation, the major cause of SCD. ICDs continuously monitor the heart rhythm, functioning as pacemakers for heart rates that are too slow, and deliver life-saving shocks if a dangerous heart rhythm is detected.
Similar to the coronary stent; however, this stenting procedure opens the carotid artery allowing for crucial blood flow to the brain to prevent or treat a stroke.
Similar to the coronary stent; however, this stenting procedure opens the arteries outside of the heart and can restore blood flow to the lower extremities, legs, or renal arteries, kidneys.
MECHANICAL THROMBECTOMY & CATHETER BASED THROMBOLYSIS
Specialized catheter-based therapies used in the treatment of venous blood clots (deep venous thrombosis (DVT)), pulmonary emboli (PE) and arterial thrombosis. Mechanical thrombectomy utilizes a specialized catheter to extract blood clots from either an artery or a vein. Catheter-directed thrombolysis is a nonsurgical, catheter based procedure used to administer drugs called lytics (or “clot busters”) directly into blood clots that have suddenly blocked major arteries or veins in order to dissolve them. These procedures can be performed independently but are often performed together to treat these potentially serious or life-threatening conditions.
This procedure is performed via catheter to permanently close a heart defect such as a hole in the heart or for patients with Atrial Septal Defects, ASD, or Patent Forum Ovale ,PFO. Once in place, the mesh device is deployed in proximity on both sides of the septal wall, creating a platform for tissue in-growth, or allow for tissue to grow over mesh thus closing the hole in the septum. Use of this device aids in symptom improvements, increased exercise capacity and risk for ischemic stroke.
CHRONIC TOTAL OCCLUSION (CTO)
An interventional procedure, which can be an alternative to coronary artery graft (CABG) surgery, offers advanced technology and innovative techniques to treat patients with complete or nearly complete blockage of a coronary artery, know as chronic total occlusion (CTO). This technology uses new equipment in the cardiac catheterization lab and allows wires and catheters to be gently steered across blockages to restore blood flow. In appropriately selected patients, this percutaneous approach is a viable alternative for symptomatic patients experiencing chronic chest pain from their CTO.
Small electronic device that “paces” the heart when it is beating too slow (bradycardia). A pacemaker is implanted on the chest just under the skin and has insulated leads which are placed inside one of the heart's chambers. The electrode on the end of a lead touches the heart wall and when an irregularity is detected, the lead delivers electrical impulses to the heart. A pacemaker can take over for the sinoatrial node, or the heart’s natural pacemaker, when it is functioning improperly. Pacemakers monitor and regulate the rhythm of the heart and transmit electrical impulses to stimulate the heart if it is beating too slowly.
RADIOFREQUENCY CATHETER ABLATION
Cardiac ablation is a catheter-based procedure using flexible tubes inserted through a vein or artery in your groin which are threaded to the heart to deliver energy in the form of heat or extreme cold. This modifies heart tissues that are firing off abnormal electrical impulses, causing atrial fibrillation, or Afib. Cardiac ablation is minimally invasive, shortens recovery times, relieves arrhythmia symptoms and can improve quality of life for those with heart rhythm abnormalities.
For more information on Arrhythmia care and treatments click here.