The branches of therapeutic and interventional cardiology focus on catheter-based treatment of coronary artery diseases. Interventional cardiology techniques are considered non-surgical, particularly when compared with open-heart techniques.
These traditional procedures require large surgical entries, in some cases about 10-12 inches down the middle of the chest. This potentially increases the risk of complications while also delaying recovery time after surgery.
Catheter-based interventions, while still invasive, require much smaller incisions, leading to faster recovery times for you after the procedure. While not all heart conditions can be treated using interventional cardiology procedures, those that can be treated using catheters generally provide better outcomes.
Dr. Ladenheim specializes in many catheter-based techniques including:
Catheterization procedures involve the insertion of a sheath (cannula), into the femoral artery to allow placement of a catheter which is threaded through the artery while the heart is under X-ray visualization. The catheter is used for the placement of stents or performing balloon angioplasty. Other large peripheral arteries or veins can also be used for heart catheterization, such as through an artery in the arm, an approach that’s showing promise in reducing complications.
The main advantages of using catheter-based procedures over surgery, in the treatment of coronary disease is the avoidance of scars and pain and the markedly shortened postoperative recovery time. For patients who qualify for primary angioplasty, it has become the procedure of choice for an acute myocardial infarction. Primary angioplasty involves the use of drugs and procedure to dissolve the clot along with the deployment of balloons and stents at the site of blockage.
Interventional cardiology requires two additional years of training to learn catheter-based treatments to resolve structural heart conditions. Interventional cardiologists are experts in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
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