An interventional procedure is a non-surgical treatment used to open narrowed coronary arteries to improve blood flow to the heart. An interventional procedure starts out the same way as a cardiac catheterization. Once the catheter is in place, an interventional procedure can be performed to open the artery such as a balloon angioplasty and stent placement.
Interventional procedures are not considered to be surgical procedures because there is no large incision used to open the chest, and the recovery time from catheterization is much shorter than that of surgery. However, surgery may be recommended after the results from the intervention.
The goal of an interventional procedure is to increase blood flow to the heart, reduce chest pain and decrease the risk of a heart attack. Interventional procedures are not a cure for coronary artery disease. Lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, will help reduce the risk for future disease development.
- Cardiac Catheterization - (also called: Cardiac Cath, Coronary Arteriogram, Coronary Angiogram) determines narrowing or clogging of the arteries. A very small hollow tube, or catheter, is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin or arm through the aorta into the heart. Once the catheter is in place, several diagnostic techniques may be used. The tip of the catheter can be placed into various parts of the heart to measure the pressures within the chambers. The catheter can be advanced into the coronary arteries and a contrast dye injected into the arteries.
- Balloon angioplasty - a small balloon is inflated inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area.
- Stent - Stents are small, wire mesh tubes that can be inserted into blood vessels to hold them open. After they’re inserted, they become a permanent part of the artery wall, strengthening the wall while keeping the artery open for blood flow to the heart muscle. INTEGRIS Heart Hospital was the first in Oklahoma to place a drug-eluting stent.
- Balloon angioplasty with stenting - a balloon angioplasty performed in combination with the stenting procedure