Heart & Vascular Institute

Interventional Cardiology

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory

Our state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is used to pinpoint and diagnose problems with the function of the heart's muscles, walls and valves, as well as the coronary arteries that feed blood to the heart. Catheterization is the procedure that most precisely reveals the state of the patient's coronary arteries. It is performed when history and physical examination of the patient together with non-invasive tests strongly suggest blockage in one or more coronary arteries.

Cardiac catheterization involves threading a catheter (long, thin tube) from an artery or vein in the leg or arm into the heart. The Cath Lab conducts various catheterization procedures to diagnose or treat coronary heart disease.

Interventional Cardology Procedures Include:

  • Balloon Angioplasty
  • Placement of Stents
  • Coronary Atherectomy
  • Pericardial Effusion Drain
  • Rotoblation
  • Fractal Flow Reserve (FFR)
  • Right Heart Catheterization
  • Left Heart Catheterization

Balloon Angioplasty

Balloon Angioplasty is a non-surgical technique to enlarge a coronary artery that has become narrowed from coronary heart disease (arteriosclerosis). Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon threaded through a blood vessel and into a coronary artery. The physician inflates the balloon, which widens the narrowed area of the artery and increases the flow of blood. The balloon is then deflated and removed.

Coronary Atherectomy

This catheter-based procedure is used to remove plaque from the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle. The catheter is inserted into an artery in the leg and guided into the coronary artery, where a rotating device, or burr, shaves away artery-blocking plaque. Coronary atherectomy is used for restoring the flow of blood to the heart, relieving chest pain and preventing heart attacks.

Placement of Stents

These metal mesh tubes are often permanently inserted within the artery during a balloon angioplasty to hold it open more widely and prevent re-narrowing in the future.

Pericardial Effusion Drain

A pericardial effusion drain, or pericardial drainage, is used to find the cause of fluid build up around the heart and relieve the pressure on the heart.

Rotoblation

During rotoblation, a catheter is inserted and advanced to the coronary artery. The guide wire is used to cross the stenosis (narrowing) inside the coronary artery. The drill head is used to remove plaque deposits. The guide wire is used to advance a balloon and/or a stent to the site of the stenosis.

FFR

Fractal Flow Reserve (FFR) is a technique used in to measure pressure differences across a coronary artery stenosis (narrowing, usually due to atherosclerosis) to determine the likelihood that the stenosis impedes oxygen delivery to the heart muscle (myocardial ischemia). FFR is a type of ultrasound used to assess blockage.

Right Heart Catheterization

Right-heart catheterization (cath) is used to see how well or poorly your heart is pumping, and to measure the pressures in your heart and lungs. This test is also referred to as pulmonary artery catheterization.

During a right-heart catheterization, a special catheter (a small, hollow tube) called a pulmonary artery (PA) catheter is guided to the right side of your heart.The tube is then passed into your pulmonary artery. This is the main artery that carries blood to your lungs. Your doctor observes blood flow through your heart and measures the pressures inside your heart and lungs.

Left Heart Catheterization

Left heart catheterization is the passage of a thin flexible tube (catheter) into the left side of the heart. It is done to diagnose or treat certain heart problems.

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