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Interventional Cardiology :-

What is interventional cardiology?

Interventional cardiology refers to various non-surgical procedures for treating cardiovascular disease. Interventional cardiologists use catheters – thin, flexible tubes – to get inside blood vessels for diagnostic tests or to repair damaged vessels or other heart structures, often avoiding the need for surgery.

How is cardiac catheterization used to diagnose cardiovascular disease?

Cardiac catheterization is a test used to evaluate your coronary arteries and heart valve function, It will identify the size and location of plaques that may have built up in your arteries from atherosclerosis, the strength of your heart muscle, and the adequacy of valve function. To start the cardiac catheterization, the interventional cardiologist threads a catheter (thin flexible tube) through a blood vessel in your arm or groin and into your heart. With the catheter in place, the cardiologist can measure blood pressure, take blood samples, and inject dyes into your coronary arteries or arteries elsewhere in your body to trace the movement of blood through the arteries and chambers of the heart. By watching the dye move through your heart's chambers and blood vessels, your cardiologist can see whether the arteries are narrowed or blocked, and whether the valves are working properly. This helps determine whether you may need bypass or valve surgery (by a cardiac surgeon) or angioplasty or catheter-based valve repair (by an interventional cardiologist).

What types of procedures do interventional cardiologists perform?

Interventional cardiologists at BWH's Shapiro Cardiovascular Center select one or a combination of procedures best-suited to each patient. Procedures include:

Angioplasty and stenting – A long, slender tube is inserted through a blood vessel in your leg or wrist, and guided to the heart or elsewhere in your body. A dye is injected through the arteries to guide the cardiologist during the stenting procedure. A balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated to stretch open the artery and restore increased blood flow to the heart. In most cases, a small metal mesh cylinder called a stent is then placed in the vessel to help keep it open.