Open surgery is sometimes vital, but for many modern cardiovascular procedures, there’s no need to go under the knife. The expert cardiologists at Cardiac Care Consultants in Peoria, Sun City West, and Wickenburg, Arizona, perform minimally invasive catheterization procedures in the hospital setting that access your cardiovascular system using a vein or artery. Catheterization causes minimal tissue damage, and recovery is typically faster and far less painful than open surgery. To find out more, call Cardiac Care Consultants today or schedule an appointment online.
Catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure that provides access to your blood vessels and heart using a slender, flexible piece of tubing called a catheter.
Your provider at Cardiac Care Consultants inserts the catheter through a vein or artery, making a tiny cut through which to feed the catheter. They pass the catheter along the blood vessel until it reaches the area that needs treating.
Using this method, it’s possible to avoid making large incisions into your body, reducing pain and inconvenience and speeding up recovery.
There are two main types of catheterization:
The Cardiac Care Consultants team uses cardiac catheterization to treat problems in your heart, typically via an artery in the groin.
Peripheral vascular catheterization provides access to the main veins and arteries around your body that serve areas other than your heart.
Procedures that use catheterization can treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions, including:
Arterial diseases like PAD and CAD usually involve the formation of plaque in the affected artery. Plaque, which consists of cholesterol, calcium, and other trace materials from your blood, lines the walls of your blood vessels, growing steadily thicker and harder.
Blood can’t flow in the required volume, so your tissues and organs get starved of oxygen and nutrients. That can cause problems like ulcers (open, non-healing wounds) on your lower legs. Plaque or blood clots resulting from broken-off pieces of plaque can sometimes block the blood vessel and trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Blood clots can also block your veins (DVT) and cause potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolisms.
To perform catheterization, your provider at Cardiac Care Consultants makes a small cut to form an access point into your artery or vein. They insert the catheter using image guidance technologies like ultrasound or fluoroscopy (moving X-ray) to visualize the catheter’s progress.
When the catheter reaches the area requiring treatment, what happens next depends on the cause of your problem. If you have CAD, carotid artery disease, or PAD, your provider might carry out a balloon angioplasty. This procedure involves inflating a small balloon on the end of the catheter to flatten the plaque and allow blood to flow freely again.
Your provider may also leave a mesh tube called a stent in the artery to stop it from collapsing. If you have a blood clot, your provider can deliver drugs via the catheter to break the clot up or remove the clot.
Catheterization offers a safe and far less traumatic solution than open surgery for many cardiovascular problems. To find out more, call Cardiac Care Consultants today or book an appointment online.