- Cardiac Catheterization:
It is often called as ‘Cardiac Cath’ and is done to determine the severity and degree of the cardiac problem. The Cardiologist will make a tiny cut in the arm or the groin area and then introduces the catheter in the blood vessel. Then the catheter is directed along the blood vessel to the heart.
The merit of this procedure is.
- The size and the position of the plaque are determined.
- The muscles and valves of the heart are analyzed.
- Blood samples can be taken for further analysis.
- The pressure on the blood vessels can be read.
- The dyes can be injected to check the blood flow.
It helps the cardiologist to decide whether the patient needs further treatment like surgical intervention or angioplasty or not.
- Angioplasty or Percutaneous Coronary Intervention:
It is used to treat the arteries that have been obstructed due to atherosclerosis of the heart. A hollow tube is introduced in the blood vessel by small incision made in the leg or the wrist and threaded to the heart. The tip of the tube or catheter has a balloon on its tip and when it attains the targeted area the plaque is moved to the walls of the artery and extended so that the blood circulation is improved. In few instances, the balloon is inflated and deflated many times during the procedure. The vessels which are blocked or narrowed are unblocked through this technique.
Interventional Cardiology is an inner branch of Cardiology which especially deals with the catheter based treatment for cardiac diseases.
It is one of the minimally invasive techniques as small cut that is less than an inch is made and the device is inserted in the arm, leg or groin area. The device is then guided to the heart or vascular area through the X-ray. With this procedure the patient will have less pain, reduced risk of infection, prevention of scar and speedy recovery time. It is done under local anesthesia as a day care procedure and suture is not required.
Using of Stents in Angioplasty:
About 70 to 80% of angioplasty involves the placing of stents and is called as ‘Stenting’. A stent is a minute cylinder like device which is overlapped on the balloon at the tip of catheter. When the balloon gets raised up the stent unlocks and emphasizes the artery walls. The balloon and the catheter are removed and the stent remains unharmed. After few weeks the tissue starts growing up over the stent.
Types of stent:
Bare metal stents is the basic type of stent used; the cylinder is untreated and drug eluting stents are those which are covered with the medications before introducing to the artery. The benefit of using this stent is it prevents from fibrosis and scar formation an also reduces the risk of Re-stenosis.
It is a new revolutionary device which is been used in recent years. The stent is made of softened body which is replaced in the place of metallic one’s but performs the same action. The benefit of using this stent is they get dissolved or absorbed by the body unlike the metal stents which remains inside the body forever. The metal stents might cause some side effects and that requires medications for long terms which lead to internal bleeding and stroke.
Percutaneous Valve Repair:
Human heart is made up of four important valves that direct the flow of blood into the chambers. The catheter with the help of clips or other instruments passes through the blood vessels to repair the damaged valve to maintain the good blood flow again.
It is a procedure were a ‘Revolving Shaver’ also called as Burr is placed at the catheter tip and the plaque deposits are cleared with it. In some cases, laser guided catheter is used to dissolve the plaque.