Conventionally, Heart conditions are treated by two specialized groups of doctors namely, Cardiologists and Cardiac surgeons. Cardiologists are the one who suggests lifestyle changes and use medications and other therapies for the treatment, whereas Cardiac surgeons treat more acute problems through bypasses, valve repairs & other vascular and cardiac surgery.
Now, the third group is represented by the Interventional cardiologists who incorporate few aspects of both cardiac surgery and conventional cardiology.
What Interventional cardiologists do?
Interventional cardiologists are specialized in treating a wide range of heart as well as vascular issues through a process known as catheterization. During the process, the doctor inserts catheter tube into major blood vessels of the patient, generally in the thigh.
After placing the catheter, the cardiologist threads tiny instruments via patient's body to the affected area, with the help of real-time X-rays. This process is a small incision, and local anesthesia is given to the patient. Also, Interventional cardiology is considered less invasive when compared to other traditional open surgeries, with quick recovery times.
Procedures performed by Interventional cardiologists
Among the procedures performed by Interventional cardiologists, the best-known is balloon angioplasty. This procedure forces to open a blocked artery by inflating a small balloon. Frequently this is done after the insertion of a stent that keeps arteries open.
Interventional cardiology offers numerous treatment options for vascular and heart conditions:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Structural & non-valvular heart disease
- Valvular heart disease
- Resistant hypertension
- Atrial septal defect
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
- Patent foramen ovale