Minimally invasive techniques to treat heart disease
In some cases, heart disease can be treated using minimally invasive interventional cardiology techniques that use a catheter (thin, flexible tube) inserted into the arteries. The catheter is guided to the heart to open blocked arteries and improve blood flow. These advanced techniques are often performed on an outpatient basis and offer a non-surgical alternative to treat many heart conditions.
Peace River Regional's board-certified interventional cardiologists use a variety of advanced catheter-assisted techniques to treat heart disease, including:
- Cardiac Catheterization - is the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart. This is done for both diagnostic and interventional purposes. Coronary catheterization is a subset of this technique, involving the catheterization of the coronary arteries. (Diagnostic cardiac catheterization also available at Charlotte Regional Medical Center.)
- Atherectomy (Rotablater) - This procedure is conducted to open coronary arteries blocked by plaque. Through cardiac catheterization, a catheter is advanced to an artery's blockage, where it removes the plaque buildup.
- Balloon Angioplasty - Also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, or PTCA, this procedure is used to open blocked coronary arteries. During cardiac catheterization, an expandable balloon is delivered through a catheter into a narrowed part of the coronary artery. The balloon is then inflated, stretching the artery open and allowing blood to flow through.
- Stenting - Through cardiac catheterization, a wire mesh tube called a stent is permanently placed in a blocked artery to hold it open and allow blood to circulate. Both metal and drug-eluting stents, which secrete drugs that help prevent the blood vessel from reclosing, are available.
Heart surgery expertise
When open-heart surgery offers the best treatment solution, Peace River Regional's board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons are well equipped to perform advanced procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), congenital heart disease repair and valve repair and replacement.