When your heart or a blood vessel needs medical care, an interventional cardiologist at Genesis Heart Institute may help. During interventional cardiovascular procedures, a specially trained doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter and other tiny medical tools into an artery. A special dye visible with fluoroscopy, or real-time X-ray images, is injected into your blood vessels so the physician can guide the catheter to the right spot and diagnose and treat the problem.
Interventional techniques offer a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery. They require only a tiny incision, reduce discomfort and speed your recovery.
The Heart Institute performs more interventional procedures each year than any other health care facility in the Quad Cities. You’ll benefit from highly skilled doctors who have experience in completing even the most complex heart and blood vessel treatments. And you’re more likely to receive helpful medication before or after a procedure here than at comparable hospitals. That’s one reason patients who get an interventional procedure at one of our cardiac catheterization labs are less likely to later be readmitted to a hospital than patients on average nationwide.
Comprehensive Interventional Procedures
Let the Heart Institute improve the flow of blood through your heart and blood vessels with interventional techniques such as:
- Angioplasty, or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) – Widens a blocked or narrowed artery with a tiny balloon, and then places a stent to keep the artery open. The Heart Institute maintains one of the lowest rates of hospital readmission following PCI in the country. You’ll receive the treatment at Genesis locations in Davenport or Silvis during a heart attack. You may qualify to receive an angioplasty in Silvis even if you’re not experiencing a medical emergency.
- Carotid artery stenting – Could reduce your risk of stroke by thinning plaque buildup in your carotid artery, which sends blood and oxygen to your brain
- Stenting and balloon angioplasty for peripheral artery disease (PAD) – Widens arteries in your legs and feet
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) – Implants a prosthetic heart valve inside a diseased aortic valve and is available at only three hospitals in Iowa, including The Heart Institute
- Atherectomy – Removes plaque from blood vessels
- Embolectomy – Eliminates blood vessel blockages in an emergency
- Valvuloplasty – Widens narrowed heart valves
At the beginning of your procedure, a doctor will insert a catheter through either the femoral artery in your thigh or the radial artery in your forearm. Whenever possible, we’ll use radial access, which lets you recover more quickly and comfortably.
Minimally Invasive Aneurysm Repair
If a bulge or aneurysm develops in your aorta, the body’s main artery, you may qualify for an interventional treatment called endovascular grafting. A doctor will use a catheter to put a stent graft inside your aorta, reinforce the weak area and help prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. This procedure minimizes blood loss and reduces recovery time.
Stents help keep blood vessels open but may create scar tissue that could contribute to future blockages. That’s why the Heart Institute was one of the first facilities to use drug-eluting stents coated with medication to help prevent scar tissue from developing. Ask your doctor whether a drug-eluting stent is right for your interventional procedure and overall health.
Peripheral Drug-Eluting Balloons
Stents help keep blood vessels open but may create scar tissue that could contribute to future blockages. New drug-eluting balloons developed for use in the peripheral blood vessels may prevent the use of a stent by applying special medication directly to blockages which may help prevent scar tissue from developing. Ask your doctor whether a peripheral drug-eluting balloon angioplasty is right for your interventional procedure and overall health.