Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology
A state-of-the-art lab for fighting heart disease
We find problems with blood circulation to heart muscle and we correct them.
The cardiac catheterization laboratory at Lourdes is proud to provide cutting-edge technology and compassionate care to deliver the best outcomes for our patients. Every day, our physicians perform critical diagnostic and life-saving interventions in our labs, with the support of a nationally recognized cardiovascular surgical team and experienced nursing staff. We offer an array of services, both emergent and elective, to extend and improve the quality of your life.
In coronary angiography, a catheter is guided through a blood vessel in your wrist or leg to your coronary arteries. Our interventional cardiologists use contrast dye and imaging to determine which vessels are blocked. With the problem areas defined, the team often proceeds directly to fixing the blocked arteries. The majority of these cases are now done from the wrist (rather than the leg), resulting in fewer bleeding complications and the ability to go home sooner for most patients.
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
To treat blocked coronary arteries, a catheter tipped with a tiny balloon is inflated to push plaque to the sides and restore blood flow (angioplasty). Sometimes the interventional team will make an opening through the blockage by cutting or burning away the plaque so that the catheter can further expand the artery’s opening (atherectomy). Once the coronary artery has been reopened, a tiny, precisely designed mesh tube called a stent is placed across the treated area to keep the artery open.
In cases of multiple coronary artery blockages that can be reached in different ways, our interventional cardiologists will sometimes use a combined approach with cardiothoracic surgeons. They will open some of the blockages through angioplasty, and the surgeons will open others through operative procedures, with emphasis on minimally invasive techniques. Sometimes this hybrid treatment takes place together in the same session in the hybrid cardiac catheterization lab/operating room.
Physiologic Assessments and Intravascular Imaging
To check on borderline severe blockages, we can complete an inside-the-vessel “stress test” to determine whether the blockage requires a stent or would be better served with medication. Special intravascular imaging maps the anatomy of the patient’s coronary vessels from inside out, allowing for better treatment decisions and more precise sizing and expansion of stents when they are needed.
Right Heart Catheterization
In this procedure, a special catheter is guided through a blood vessel in the groin or neck to your heart to measure blood pressures in your heart and lungs - especially in your pulmonary artery, the main artery that carries blood to your lungs. This test helps to assess the pumping capacity of your heart. The catheter may be left in place during testing of your heart’s response to different medications.
Percutaneous Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation
In the case of severe heart failure and shock, small motorized pumps are placed into the heart via the groin to help support the heart. The interventional cardiology team can also insert devices to assist with complicated blockages requiring stenting in the event of a weak underlying heart situation.