Many heart conditions—from coronary artery disease (CAD) and valvular heart disease to congenital heart disease—may be treated with nonsurgical, catheter-based approaches available through interventional cardiology.
You and your doctor can take advantage of the expertise in cardiac intervention you’ll find at Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare.
Angioplasty improves blood flow to the heart by opening blockages in the coronary arteries. During the procedure, your cardiologist guides a thin, flexible tube (catheter) tipped with a tiny, empty balloon to the narrowed part of the artery. As the balloon fills with air, plaque flattens against the artery wall to let blood flow freely through the artery.
Your doctor may recommend angioplasty for you as a way to:
Improve symptoms of CAD, such as chest pain or shortness of breath
Reduce damage to the heart muscle from heart attack
Open blockage and restore blood flow through an artery during heart attack
Reduce the risk of death related to certain heart conditions
More than 70 percent of coronary angioplasty procedures include stenting.
Once an artery is opened during angioplasty, a second balloon catheter tipped with a small wire mesh tube known as a stent is inserted into the artery. When the balloon inflates, the stent locks into place and forms a scaffold to hold the artery open.
The stent stays permanently in the artery to help improve blood flow to the heart muscle and relieve symptoms like chest pain.
Visit our health library to learn more about angioplasty and stenting.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
In a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), your doctor uses a thin, flexible tube (catheter) to deliver and place a new valve. The new valve is placed inside the old, damaged one and expanded.
Your doctor may recommend TAVR to treat aortic stenosis—a narrowed aortic valve opening—if you are not healthy enough for open-heart surgery.
Visit our health library to learn more about minimally invasive valve replacement surgery.