Minimally invasive techniques for diagnosis and treatment of heart disease
Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center’s doctors use cardiac catheterization to both diagnose and treat heart disease. This minimally invasive, interventional cardiology technique uses a catheter (thin, flexible tube) that is inserted into the arteries to examine the heart, arteries and veins with real-time images (fluoroscopy). These procedures only require a tiny incision where the catheter is inserted into an artery, so it results in less blood loss, less pain and a quicker recovery for patients.
A diagnostic angiogram is an outpatient procedure used to examine the inside of arteries and veins to detect blockages or narrowing of the vessels. It can be used to measure blood pressure, blood flow and oxygen levels, as well as evaluate the heart’s pumping ability and the health of the valves. Angiography is also used to collect biopsies and blood samples, and to evaluate other areas of the body, including:
- Peripheral angiography, or peripheral catheterization, enables doctors to locate areas of reduced blood flow in your lower body and legs. This procedure creates a “map” that shows where blockages exist.
- Carotid angiography allows doctors to view the carotid arteries, which supply your brain with oxygen. It is used to detect narrowing or blockages that can lead to stroke.
Non-surgical treatments for heart disease
Cardiac catheterization techniques are also used to treat heart disease by opening blocked arteries to improve blood flow. These advanced techniques offer a non-surgical alternative to treat many heart conditions on an outpatient basis. Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center's board-certified interventional cardiologists use a variety of advanced catheter-assisted techniques, including:
- Angioplasty – A tiny balloon on the end of a catheter is inflated to push plaque against the wall of the artery to improve blood flow. A laser can also be used to break up the plaque.
- Stent placement – A stent, which is a small mesh tube, is placed in an artery to hold it open and improve blood flow.