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Interventional Cardiology

The Interventional Cardiology Program at UI Health provides leading-edge diagnostic tests and nonsurgical interventional treatments for patients with cardiovascular diseases, including congenital heart disease, coronary heart disease, heart valve disease, and peripheral artery disease. Our program is led by a multidisciplinary team of specialists from cardiovascular anesthesiology and radiology, endovascular surgery, cardiac surgery, and vascular surgery.

Our team is internationally recognized for our vast expertise in the following complex procedures, including:

  • Aortic and mitral balloon valvuloplasty
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Left main stenting for unprotected left main coronary artery disease
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention for chronic total occlusion
  • Rotational atherectomy

Some patients may not require surgery and instead can benefit from a combination of medication and diet and lifestyle changes. Our team will discuss your options with you and design a specific treatment plan for you.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that repairs the aortic valve. TAVR is significant for two reasons: It does not require open surgery, and it does not require removal of the damaged heart valve.

Using a catheter, the interventional cardiologist sends the replacement valve to the original valve, where it expands, pushing away the valve leaflets and taking over the job of regulating blood flow. TAVR provides a safer option to patients for whom traditional open valve-replacement surgery may not be recommended, including high-risk heart patients and elderly patients with additional medical conditions.

TAVR has been shown to have excellent patient outcomes, both in safety and in cardiac rate (blood flow).

Angioplasty and Stenting            

Angioplasty is a procedure for opening narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. It involves temporarily inserting and inflating a tiny balloon to help widen the artery.

Angioplasty is often combined with the permanent placement of a small metal wire mesh tube called a stent to help keep the artery open and decrease its chance of narrowing again.

Angioplasty may be performed to treat:

  • Blockage in a coronary artery during or after a heart attack
  • Blockage or narrowing of coronary arteries that put you at risk for a heart attack
  • Artery narrowing that reduces blood flow and causes persistent chest pain (angina) that cannot be controlled with medication

For most people, angioplasty can greatly improve the blood flow through the coronary artery and the heart. Not every blockage can be treated with angioplasty, however, and a patient who has several blockages or blockages in certain locations may need a coronary bypass surgery.