Interventional cardiology is a branch of cardiology that uses specialized catheter-based treatments to diagnose and treat structural heart disease, artery disease, vascular disease, and congenital heart defects. Since traditional open-heart surgeries are not common with interventional cardiology, patients can enjoy the avoidance of scars, pain, and long recovery times that typically come with other cardiac procedures. There are several techniques that are administered by interventional cardiologists to treat heart diseases and defects. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common interventional cardiology procedures to get a better understanding of this branch of cardiology.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a common interventional cardiac procedure for patients with decreased blood flow to the heart. To begin this particular procedure, a catheter, or small plastic tube, is threaded through an artery at the top of a patient’s leg and is then moved up to their heart. To help a physician accurately see coronary arteries and any blockages present, dye is inserted into the catheter. If the dye shows any blockages in the heart or arteries, a balloon is used to open the blockage. A stent is then used to keep the vessel open. 

Balloon Angioplasty/Stent Implantation

Balloon angioplasty or stent implantation is typically executed during cardiac catheterization. In this particular interventional cardiac procedure, a balloon is passed into the space of a blockage in a coronary artery. The balloon used is a catheter that is specifically designed with a small balloon attached to it. Once the balloon is in the correct position, it will then inflate to enlarge the opening and increase the patient’s blood flow to their heart. During the procedure, a physician will implant a stent to keep the blockage from reforming after the balloon is deflated and removed. 

PFO Closure

When a fetus is developing in the womb, a patent foramen ovale (PFO) forms in the wall between the upper right and left chambers of the heart. After the baby is born, this opening will close. However, in some rare cases, this closure does not occur. If a patient has experienced a stroke or TIA, a PFO closure procedure is required. In a PFO closure, a catheter specifically designed for this procedure is inserted into a vein in the leg and moved to the location of the defect in the heart wall. Once the catheter reaches the appropriate location, a device will close the deformity and remain in the heart permanently. 

Interventional Cardiology Procedures at AMS Cardiology

Now that you have a better understanding of interventional cardiology, it is important that you choose a cardiologist group that can provide you with expert treatment. AMS Cardiology is one of the leading cardiologist groups that has served King of Prussia and the surrounding areas for over 50 years. At AMS Cardiology, we are known for superb patient satisfaction thanks to our highly trained and experienced physicians. Contact us today at (215) 517-1000 to learn more about our interventional cardiology procedures or to schedule an appointment.