Interventional Cardiology

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Interventional cardiology procedures in a North American hospital or cardiology clinic can cost many thousands of dollars more than the exact same procedure performed at Angeles Health.

The practice of interventional cardiology is a sub-specialty of the general practice of cardiology that deals specifically with treating diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system through minimally invasive procedures employing catheters, stents and intravascular balloons.

Procedures of interventional cardiology commonly feature the placement of a catheter into the femoral artery at a site in the patient’s groin, from which the interventional cardiologist can then obtain access to the clogged arteries and blood vessels of the heart. In some cases the radial artery (accessed via the wrist or forearm) is used instead. An advantage of using the radial artery is that many patients are able to sit up and walk immediately after completion of the procedure. The cardiologist is usually guided in performing particular procedures by X-rays, for which contrast dye has been introduced to the patient’s cardiovascular system to highlight areas of blockage and disease.

Among the procedures encompassed by interventional cardiology are:

Angioplasty

Also called percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), angioplasty is an intervention for the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Valvuloplasty

Valvuloplasty is the dilation of narrowed cardiac valves (usually mitral, aortic, or pulmonary).

Correction of congenital heart defects

Catheterization can be employed to correct atrial septal and ventricular septal defects, closure of a patient’s ductus arteriosus, and angioplasty of the great vessels.

Percutaneous valve replacement

An alternative to open heart surgery, percutaneous valve replacement is the replacement of a heart valve using percutaneous methods.

Coronary thrombectomy

Coronary thrombectomy involves the removal of a thrombus (blood clot) from the coronary arteries.

Cardiac ablation

A technique performed by clinical electrophysiologists, cardiac ablation is used in the treatment of arrhythmias.

Heart surgery is performed by a specialist in cardiothoracic surgery. Some interventional cardiology procedures are performed only when the hospital or clinic has a cardiothoracic surgeon present, in case complications that may arise during procedures of interventional cardiology require a patient to have emergency heart surgery.

Are you an ideal Interventional Cardiology Candidate?

Interventional cardiologists treat narrowed arteries and weakened heart valves — often caused by coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, or peripheral vascular disease. A patient with any of the following conditions would be considered a candidate for interventional cardiology:

Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is the narrowing of the coronary arteries, the large blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen. Narrowing of coronary arteries is caused by atherosclerosis, which describes a buildup of fatty deposits, cholesterol, calcium, and plaque on the inner surface of the arteries. Atherosclerosis restricts blood flow to the heart, which can lead to heart attack or other heart problems. Symptoms may include angina (intermittent chest pain), shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and/or weakness.

Heart valve disease
Heart valve disease involves heart valves that do not correctly regulate the flow of blood through the heart chambers. This condition can be congenital (from birth defects) or may arise through damage by rheumatic fever, bacterial infection, or as a result of heart attack. Valves can also degenerate as part of the normal aging process. In cases where a patient’s heart must pump harder it may be unable to supply adequate blood circulation to the rest of the body. Two common forms of heart valve disease are aortic valve stenosis and mitral valve regurgitation. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the ankles and legs, fatigue, dizziness, and/or fainting.

Peripheral vascular disease
Peripheral vascular disease affects other arteries that run throughout the body. Like the coronary arteries in the heart, these vessels can become clogged and hardened through atherosclerosis, and can increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and limb loss. Symptoms may also include pain in the leg muscles (particularly calves and thighs) and/or severe aching pain in the toes or feet at night.

In general, any patient with a history of angina that cannot be addressed with medication, who experiences cardiovascular or structural heart problems after a heart attack, or who has a confirmed diagnosis of atherosclerosis or other vascular disease is a good candidate for interventional cardiology.

Benefits and Risks of Interventional Cardiology Procedure?

Benefits of Interventional Cardiology
Procedures of interventional cardiology are generally considered minimally invasive and can often help patients avoid traditional heart surgery. In many cases, procedures of interventional cardiology require only a small incision in the arm or leg for insertion of a catheter. Almost all interventional cardiology procedures are performed without requiring general anesthesia and some procedures can take as few as 30 minutes to perform.In many cases, patients require only one night of hospital stay following interventional cardiology procedures, instead of the longer hospital stay required by other types of surgery. Some interventional cardiology procedures are even performed on an outpatient basis. Recovery times are often shorter as well, and symptoms, such as shortness of breath and chest pain, are usually relieved quickly and effectively.Many heart attack patients have been shown to derive significant benefits from angioplasty. Opening an artery and restoring blood flow quickly can help prevent heart damage. In addition, balloon valvuloplasty is often considered the best option for infants and children with congenital heart defects.

Possible complications
Interventional cardiology procedures may not be appropriate for all heart patients and decisions about interventional treatments should be made in close consultation between doctor and patient. In some cases, treatment with medications or conventional heart surgery may be the better option. Patients with diabetes or other chronic conditions and patients who have a weak heart muscle, calcification of the aortic valve, badly diseased blood vessels, or multiple artery blockages may not be good candidates for interventional procedures.

Some complications of interventional cardiology procedures, particularly angioplasty, include the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coronary artery damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Bleeding at the catheter insertion site
  • Blood clots
  • Restenosis

Why Choose Hospital Angles for Interventional Cardiology Procedure?

Interventional cardiology procedures in a U.S. hospital or cardiology clinic can cost many thousands of dollars more than the exact same procedure performed at Angeles Health.

As well as significant cost savings Angeles Health offers the support and expertise of a multidisciplinary team of specialists who help patients understand and manage all of the challenges they face in reclaiming healthy lives. Our facilities and equipment represent healthcare value that is second to none and the cardiologists and surgeons on our coronary care staff are among the most talented and experienced in the world.

Patients at Angeles Health receive the expert care of physicians, nurses and X-ray technicians who work hard on making the medical travel experience as comfortable, supported and secure as possible. Everyone at Angeles Health strives for patients to get successful treatment. We aim for our patients to leave the hospital fully prepared to meet their long-term health goals.

What’s Included in your Interventional Cardiology Travel Package?

All interventional cardiology patients at Angeles Health are assigned a Patient Facilitator, who handles all arrangements free of charge. Your Patient Facilitator provides you with a full itinerary that tells you exactly what to expect every step of the way on your medical travel trip.

Your Interventional Cardiology Package at Angeles Health includes:

  • All pre-treatment tests and exams
  • All medical and procedure costs: cardiologists, anesthesia, X-ray equipment, nursing staff and care
  • A hard working Case Management team to guide your pre- and post-treatment experience
  • Pre-treatment consultation if desired
  • Airport transfers from San Diego Airport
  • Hospital stays may be included depending on type of treatment
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