Interventional Cardiology | Get to Know All About It
If your cardiologist has recommended you get an angiogram to understand about the blockages in your arteries, you’ll likely see an interventional cardiologist.
What is Interventional Cardiology?
Interventional cardiology is the branch of cardiology that deals specifically with the less invasive, catheter-based diagnosis and treatment of structural heart diseases.
Interventional cardiology is able to treat structural heart diseases with just a needle puncture of a few mm- without making large cuts or entering instruments into the body. Most of the procedures are carried out in the cardiovascular system- this includes the heart, veins, and arteries. Using balloons and stents, Primarily, it helps treat coronary artery disease, vascular disease, and acquired structural heart disease.
Interventional cardiology uses balloons and stents, pressure wires (iFR/FFR), and imaging tools like intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and optical coherent tomography (OCT).
So what do interventional cardiologists do? Well, measure cardiovascular functions like blood pressure and blood flow in major arteries and within the chambers of the heart by using different diagnostic tools and imaging techniques. They work with surgeons to manage patients and determine whether they need surgery.
When to See an Interventional Cardiologist?
You should meet with an interventional cardiologist if:
- Your EKG tests indicate a blockage to your coronary artery.
- You need to deal with serious heart issues like heart attack, unstable angina, or heart valve disease.
- You need special heart treatments like cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, or heart valve repair.
What does Interventional Cardiology Treat?
While general heart problems can be taken care of by your primary doctor, you will need to see an interventional cardiologist for serious heart or blood vessel issues. Interventional cardiologists do not perform open-heart surgeries, but they design and deliver specialized treatments, procedures, diagnostic tools, and therapies for a lot of conditions:
- Acute coronary syndromes
- Angioplasty and restenosis
- Angioplasty and stent placement
- Aortic aneurysm
- Aortic diseases and dissection
- Aortic valve replacement
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
- Atrial septal defect (ASD)
- Cardiac catheterization
- Cardiac CT angiography (also called coronary angiography)
- Cardiac imaging
- Cardiac ultrasound
- Cardiovascular disease
- Carotid artery angioplasty and stenting
- Carotid artery disease
- Clinical trials
- Congenital heart disease
- Congenital heart disease, adult
- Congestive heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary angiography
- Coronary angioplasty and stenting
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Coronary artery disease, complex
- Diabetes and heart disease
- Gene therapy
- Heart attack
- Heart disease in women
- Heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Interventional cardiology
- Intravascular ultrasound
- Invasive cardiology
- Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
- Mitral-valve surgery
- Non-invasive cardiology
- Nuclear cardiology
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
- Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
- Percutaneous myocardial revascularization (PMR)
- Percutaneous valve repair
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
- Preventive cardiology
- Renal artery stenosis
- Renovascular disease
- Sports medicine, cardiology
- Stem-cell therapy for heart failure
- Structural heart disease
- Vascular medicine
- ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI)
What Tests does Interventional Cardiology Include?
Interventional cardiologists perform various cardiovascular imaging tests and other procedures to deal with different conditions of the heart:
This is an invasive imaging procedure that can confirm and evaluate the presence of coronary artery disease, valve disease of the aorta, evaluate heart muscle function, and check if further treatment is needed. A contrast material is injected into the blood vessel through the groin or the hand and seen by a special X-ray machine, and the machine takes a picture in real-time. This is a safe and relatively painless procedure. When done through the hand, it can be completed in 15-20 minutes, and when done through the groin, it can be done in 4-5 hours.
Cardiac Computed Tomography (CCT, “cardiac CT”)
By creating cross-sectional views of the cardiovascular system using X-ray, imaging, and computers, doctors can assess and treat many cardiovascular, aortic, cardiac mass, pericardial, myocardium, coronary artery, and pulmonary vein issues.
- Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA)
- Intravascular Ultrasound
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI)
- Alcohol Septal Ablation
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Atrial Septal Defect (ADS) closure
- Aortic Balloon Valvuloplasty and Mitral Balloon Valvuloplasty
- Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) intervention
- Carotid artery stenting
- Directional Coronary Atherectomy (DCA)
- Endovascular Thrombectomy
- Exercise stress test
- Hemodynamic cardiac filters and hemodynamic support procedures
- Peripheral vascular interventions
- Percutaneous coronary interventions
- Percutaneous valve repair
- Rotational atherectomy
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) repair
Is Interventional Cardiology Safe?
Apparently, using metallic stents and drug-coated balloons to treat coronary narrowings or blockages works great. It eliminates angina symptoms and improves heart function. So yes, interventional cardiology is very safe with a low complication rate of 1%.
The need for and the benefits of interventional cardiology are diverse. If you have a condition where you need to go to an interventional cardiologist, you only have two alternatives. You can either take regular medicines to control the symptoms or get coronary artery bypass surgery if it’s serious enough.
Don’t get confused, first consult an interventional cardiologist near you at V One Hospital in Indore and take the right decision.