Pilla Heart Center interventional cardiologists use catheterization procedures to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, heart valve conditions and congenital heart disease, among other problems. These procedures use a thin, flexible catheter, or tube, to diagnose heart conditions and deliver treatments.
Our interventional cardiologists perform these techniques in our specialized cardiac catheterization laboratory. Methods include:
For both emergency and non-emergency patients, angioplasty opens blocked or narrowed arteries to restore good blood flow to the heart. The catheter used has a special balloon tip to push away fatty deposits, called plaque, that are clogging the artery. This method sometimes is called “balloon angioplasty.”
- Angioplasty with stenting
During the angioplasty procedure, our interventional cardiologists may insert a tiny mesh stent to prevent artery walls from collapsing. The stent may be coated with a slow-release drug to prevent the artery from narrowing again.
- Laser and rotoblator therapy
Our highly skilled interventional cardiologists use tiny instruments equipped with diamond tips, or rotoblators, to grind down plaque that is clogging arteries. If left untreated, the plaque could block an artery or rupture, forming a blood clot that could travel to the heart or brain.
The Pilla Heart Center team also uses energy-producing laser devices to break up certain dangerous blood clots.
- ASD/PFO closure
This technique closes small holes in hearts by using a catheter to place a special fabric implant. Heart tissue then grows over the closure.
- Carotid artery surgery (endarterectomy)
A blockage in the internal carotid artery (located on both sides of the neck) can reduce blood supply to the brain, causing a stroke. Interventional cardiologists at the Pilla Heart Center treat carotid artery disease, or CAD, by maneuvering microsurgical instruments into the neck artery and removing the blockage. A stent may be inserted to keep the artery open.
- Peripheral vascular techniques
The arteries and veins of the circulatory system lead to the legs, kidneys, stomach and feet. These pathways may develop fatty plaque deposits, or atherosclerosis, similar to what may happen in the heart or neck. Our interventional cardiologists treat peripheral blockages with angioplasty to open the vessels, often adding stents to keep the pathways open.
For expertise on interventional cardiology, contact the specialists at Abington’s Pilla Heart Center, including the Porter Institute for Valvular Heart Disease, Blank Vascular Center, Heart Rhythm Center, and Comprehensive Heart Failure Program.