What is Interventional Cardiology?
Interventional cardiology involves the insertion of thin, flexible tubes
to diagnose and treat narrowed or blocked blood vessels and faulty heart
valves. The tubes, called catheters, are threaded through arteries and
veins, in a minimally invasive procedure that can mean less pain, a shorter
hospital stay and faster recovery.
Experts in Catheter-Base Treatment
board-certified Interventional Cardiology specialists care for patients in our state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization
lab, which has surgical suites equipped with the latest digital imaging
technology to help guide interventional procedures with precision.
These experienced cardiologists are now using, the radial or wrist artery
as their access point in addition to the femoral artery in the groin.
This means that patients have even less pain and bleeding and therefore,
faster recovery times.
For patients suffering from heart blockages and peripheral vascular disease,
we perform the following procedures:
With this procedure, X-rays are taken after a contrast agent is injected
into an artery to locate the narrowing, occlusions, and other abnormalities
of specific arteries.
A Coronary Angiogram is a series of x-ray pictures showing the internal
contours of blood vessels, which feed the heart (Coronary Arteries) and
is taken during a Left Heart Catheterization. This diagnostic test is
usually performed when a patient is suspected of having narrowing or blockages
of the Coronary Arteries. Narrowing or blockages of the Coronary Arteries
is called Coronary Artery Disease. Your physician may suspect that you
have Coronary Artery Disease based on your history, symptoms or recent
A Cardiac Catheterization and Coronary Angiogram can help your doctor determine
how best to treat you. Based on the findings of your Cardiac Catheterization
and Coronary Angiogram you may need:
- No additional treatment
- To be treated with medication
- A coronary intervention
- Coronary by-pass surgery
A cardiac catheterization is a diagnostic study of the heart. Coronary
Intervention, which is often done during a cardiac catheterization, is
a type of treatment for blocked or severely narrowed coronary arteries,
a known as "hardening of the arteries," Arthrosclerosis is a
disease in which the arteries are hardened and narrowed because of plaque,
which has built up along the insides of the artery walls. While some forms
of arteriosclerosis occur naturally over time, arthrosclerosis involves
an unnatural build up of plaque, which is made up of fats (lipids), cholesterol
(lipoproteins), calcium and other materials. These masses of plaque may
eventually lead to a partial or complete blockage of the blood flow through
the artery. Coronary Intervention is the treatment of a patient with hardening
of the arteries. Coronary Intervention refers to several possible methods
of treatment that your doctor can use to attempt to open your blocked
or severely narrowed coronary arteries.
Coronary Angioplasty (Stent Placement)
With this procedure, a balloon is used to create a bigger opening in the
blood vessel to increase blood flow. Although angioplasty is performed
in other blood vessels elsewhere in the body, percutaneous coronary intervention
(PCI) refers to angioplasty in the coronary arteries to permit more blood
flow into the heart. PCI is also called percutaneous transluminal coronary
Innovated Interventional Cardiac Procedures
CTO Catheter Technique
Over the past several years, powerful techniques have evolved to open partially
occluded and occluded coronary arteries. These techniques include angioplasty,
stenting, and the newest technique, CTO, which is used for completely
occluded arteries. Currently under the leadership of
Dr. R. Michael Wyman, Torrance Memorial is one of three sites in the United States currently
testing and developing the CTO catheter technique.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR is the name for a new procedure in cardiology and cardiac surgery
that enables patients with a condition called severe aortic stenosis (narrowing
of the aortic heart valve opening) to receive a new heart valve without
undergoing open-heart surgery. Traditionally, the primary treatment for
aortic stenosis has been surgery. However, certain patients with severe
stenosis were considered too sick for surgery.
As a result of a pivotal new Partner Trial, the FDA has approved the use
of the Edwards' Transcatheter Heart Valve, which utilizes a minimally
invasive procedure to implant a new valve using a method very similar
to the implantation of a stent. Therefore, patients whose conditions were
previously thought to be untreatable can now receive a new valve without
open heart surgery.
» Learn More about TAVR Procedure