Cardiac Catheterization and Coronary Interventions
Catheters have changed the way heart disease is diagnosed and treated. What once required large incisions and long recovery time can now be accomplished with small incisions and tiny instruments that are used from inside the blood vessels. Patients get similar results with less pain and recovery time. Using state-of-the-art facilities, our highly skilled interventional specialists perform a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic catheter-based interventions.
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What are cardiac catheterization and coronary interventions?
Cardiac catheterization involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your leg or arm and guiding it to the arteries in your heart. Physicians can use catheterization to diagnose and treat many heart problems. Cardiac catheterization can also be used to diagnose heart valve or heart muscle problems. In addition, catheter-based procedures can treat blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the heart (coronary arteries) with balloons and/or stents. This technology can also be applied to other parts of the body, such as the arteries that provide blood to the brain (carotid arteries), to the kidneys, or to the legs. They can also treat congenital heart disorders and valve problems.
One of the benefits of catheterization is that it is a minimally invasive procedure and typically an outpatient procedure. Unlike surgery, which typically requires large incisions, the catheter is inserted through a small nick in the groin area or the arm. This means you have less discomfort, heal faster, and get back to your life more quickly than with open surgery.
Our highly skilled physicians will work with you and your primary care physician to accurately diagnose your condition and determine the best course of treatment for you. Our services include:
- Cardiac catheterization, which is a diagnostic test used to provide a detailed assessment of the performance of the heart, including its valves and the coronary arteries, and to locate blockages/narrowings in your arteries;
- Angioplasty, which uses a balloon-tipped catheter to clear blocked arteries;
- Stenting, during which the physician implants an expandable stainless steel metal coil in a narrowed vessel to keep it open. This procedure can be done in the arteries of the heart, the neck, the kidneys or the legs;
- Intravascular ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside structure and walls of your arteries;
- Laser angioplasty, which uses a laser-tipped catheter to vaporize blockages;
- Balloon valvuloplasty, a procedure where the physician will use a balloon to open a scarred valve that has narrowed and is blocking the flow of blood to other chambers of the heart or to the body;
- PFO/ASD closure, in which the interventional cardiologist uses two small umbrella-shaped "clamshell" devices to close an opening between the upper chambers of the heart that did not close after birth;
- Impella, a tiny device placed in the left ventricle of your heart. The device can pump up to 2.5 liters of blood per minute, which allows physicians to complete angioplasty in patients whose hearts cannot pump enough blood on their own to allow them to undergo the procedure.
The Stony Brook Difference
Stony Brook's Interventional Cardiology section is a recognized leader in catheter-based diagnosis and treatment. We are located in the center of Suffolk County and have the county's only full-service interventional program. With medical procedures, experience matters. We evaluate more than 4,400 patients and perform more than 1,800 interventional procedures each year. Whether it's diagnosing a cardiovascular problem or treating it, we've got you covered.
During an acute coronary event such as a heart attack, a sudden blockage in one of the arteries of the heart impedes blood flow to the muscle of the heart, and every second counts. Physicians have come to rely on catheter-based procedures like angioplasty to quickly and effectively clear blockages and restore blood flow to the heart. Stony Brook's catheterization laboratories provide 24-hour support, seven days a week (24/7), for patients who need emergency catheterization. Using our "Code H" protocol, we have been able to produce a "door-to-perfusion" time (that is, the time from when an emergency angioplasty patient comes through our doors to the time the blocked artery is cleared) of 71 minutes, almost 20 minutes sooner than those specified in treatment guidelines.
Led by Luis Gruberg, MD, FACC, our Cardiac Catheterization and Coronary Interventions section is a highly skilled, award-winning group whose focus is getting you well. We work collaboratively with each other, your referring physician, and -- most importantly -- you, to develop the best treatment plan for you. We stress a continuum of care as well as care coordination with your cardiologist and primary care physician. Our team offers decades of training and experience, insight from cutting-edge research, state-of-the-art facilities, and a patient-focused environment to provide you with superior outcomes and a positive patient experience.
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