Interventional cardiology is a non-surgical way of treating narrowed arteries, weakened blood vessels, or other damaged parts of the heart. To repair the heart, interventional cardiology uses a catheter, a thin, flexible tube made of medical-grade materials that can be inserted into the body.
Interventional cardiologists have one to two years of additional training to specialize in catheter-based procedures, including stenting and balloon angioplasty. Because of this, interventional cardiologists are often considered the top authority on cardiology and treating heart disease.
While interventional cardiology can be used for many different procedures, it is most commonly used for three conditions.
- Coronary artery disease – a disease that narrows the arteries, which cuts off oxygen and blood supply to the heart.
- Peripheral vascular disease – when clogged or hardened veins throughout the body begin to affect the heart.
- Heart valve disease – occurs when the heart valves are not working properly, which affects the way blood flows into the heart’s chambers.
Interventional cardiology aims to improve coronary circulation and remove any narrowing or blocking of the heart valves. Interventional cardiology procedures usually involve shorter hospital stays and recovery times, as well as less scarring that surgical heart procedures.
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