Finding out you have cardiovascular disease could be stunning and life-altering. However, you still have options to overcome and combat this serious condition. With your doctor’s help and with some lifestyle changes, you can regain your health. It is important to be vigilant and focused on your everyday well-being.Heart disease often occurs when plaque forms…
A Simple Guide to Interventional Cardiology
Interventional cardiology is a cardiology subtype that deals with the application of different diagnostic devices and imaging techniques to evaluate cardiovascular functions such as blood pressure and blood flow in the heart and around the body. Professionals in this field of medical care diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions like coronary artery disease, structural heart disease, congenital heart defects, and vascular diseases with sophisticated catheter-based techniques.
The purpose of interventional cardiology
Specialists in interventional cardiology are trained to fix stents in blocked arteries to enable proper blood circulation and lower the risk of a stroke or heart attack. The process can also repair holes in the heart or require placing special devices in the heart for effective function. The medical field now has advanced technology and newer techniques that include cardiac catheterization, mitral valve replacement and repairs, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement, allowing the interventional cardiologist to complete complex procedures to save or improve the lives of patients suffering from structural abnormalities, valve defects, and heart diseases.
The tests and processes
An interventional cardiologist may perform complex tests, procedures, and surgeries on patients from different age groups, right from children to adults. The procedure recommended for the patient depends on the age, general wellbeing, and situation of the patient and is meant to correct heart-related defects and diseases.
Some of the tests and procedures are simple and non-invasive, while others have complicated processes, including open-heart surgery for repairing heart chambers or structural defects of valves. As more technological advancements continue to emerge, more treatment options are becoming available to even the most vulnerable and fragile patients. Some of the tests and procedures in interventional cardiology include:
Cardiac computed tomography: Simply called CCT, this test involves the application of computer and x-ray technology and imaging to obtain a cross-sectional image of the heart's structure, circulation, and vessels of the cardiovascular system. The test can help diagnose and treat coronary artery disease, pericardial disease, cardiac masses, and aortic disease.
Exercise stress test: This entails attaching a unique monitor with electrodes to the skin around the chest and recording the person's heart function as they walk on the treadmill. The test could help diagnose coronary artery disease, the origin of symptoms like chest pain, and predict the occurrence of any life-threatening heart issue.
Echocardiogram: The test obtains pictures of the heart's chambers, walls, valves, and blood vessels using ultrasound. This unique imaging option shows the heart's shape and size and the heart wall's thickness and movement while the heart beats. This test can help interventional cardiologists check valve's functionality, heart movement, blood leakage toward the valve (regurgitation), narrow valves (stenosis), or the presence of a tumor or infectious growth. It can also help determine if there is a risk of a heart attack.
Coronary angiography: This process involves injecting contrast dye through the catheter. The dye shows on x-ray images as it circulates in the arteries and reveals the location of blockages. This makes it possible to accurately diagnose and locate major cardiovascular issues.
Interventional cardiology deals with the diagnosis and management of heart disease. The procedures are safe, and during the consultation appointment, the doctor will usually explain what to expect.
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