South Bay's Experts in Catheter-Based Treatment

Torrance Memorial has continually been at the forefront in minimally invasive treatment options for cardiovascular care. Torrance Memorial Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is South Bay's leader in catheter-based treatment. Comprised of some of the world's most experienced cardiologists, our Cardiac Cath Lab offers expert diagnosis, state-of-the-art technology, and unparalleled excellence in care and patient safety.

What is Interventional Cardiology?

Interventional cardiology uses nonsurgical catheter-based (small tubes inserted into the arteries and guided to the heart) treatment techniques to manage or reduce coronary artery blockages, stop heart attacks, correct valvular heart disease, and treat peripheral vascular and aortic vascular problems.

Patient Benefits

Interventional cardiology procedures are generally less invasive than traditional surgery. In most cases, these procedures require only one small incision for insertion of the catheter. Most interventional cardiology patients do not require general anesthesia and some procedures can take as few as 30 minutes to perform.

In many cases, patients go home the same day or are hospitalized for only one night following interventional cardiology procedures, instead of the longer hospital stay required by other types of surgery. Recovery time often is shorter as well and symptoms, such as shortness of breath and chest pain, are usually relieved quickly and effectively.

Key Interventional Cardiology Procedures

Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is used to determine and diagnose the severity and extent of cardiovascular problems, including coronary arteries.

Angioplasty and Percutaneous Coronary Stenting

Angioplasty and percutaneous coronary stenting are procedures to widen or hold open narrowed or blocked arteries.


Coronary atherectomy is used to remove or reduce large plaque deposits from coronary arteries.

Balloon Valvuloplasty

Balloon valvuloplasty, also called percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty, is a procedure used to enlarge a narrowed, or stenotic, heart valve.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft is a surgical procedure to clear blockages or Chronic Total Occlusion in the arteries through innovative percutaneous (performed through a needle stick through the skin) techniques.

Coronary Thrombectomy

Coronary thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed to remove a blood clot, from a coronary artery or other blood vessel.

Innovated Interventional Cardiac Procedures

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)

Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), also know as Angioplasty, is a procedure used to open blocked coronary arteries (caused by coronary artery disease) and restore blood flow to the heart muscle without open-heart surgery.

During PCI prodcure, a special catheter (a long, thin, hollow tube) is inserted into a blood vessel and guided to the blocked coronary artery. The catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip. Once the catheter is in place, the balloon is inflated at the narrowed area of the coronary artery. This presses the fatty tissue against the sides of the artery making more room for blood flow.

The use of fluoroscopy (a special type of X-ray that's like an X-ray "movie") helps the doctor find the blockages in the coronary arteries as a contrast dye moves through the arteries.

The doctor may determine that another type of procedure is necessary. This may include the use of atherectomy (removal of plaque) at the site of the narrowing of the artery. In atherectomy, there may be tiny blades on a balloon or a rotating tip at the end of the catheter. When the catheter reaches the narrowed spot in the artery, the plaque is broken up or cut away to open the artery.

Currently under the leadership of Dr. R. Michael Wyman, Torrance Memorial is one of three sites in the United States currently testing and developing this interventional cathterization procedure.

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

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Innovated Procedure: TAVR

The new revolutionary procedure replace heart valves without open heart surgery.