About Our Interventional Cardiology Services
At Southern Ocean Medical Center, we feature a sophisticated, digital cardiovascular and interventional imaging system from GE Healthcare. This advanced technology enables physicians to perform cardiac, angiographic, vascular and interventional procedures on one system in one room.
Physicians who perform procedures in the Interventional Center include specialists in vascular surgery, cardiology, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology and pain management.
We offer the following services:
Cardiac Catheterization is one of the most sophisticated tools available to diagnose heart disease. Indications for the procedure include:
- Angina that is not easily controlled with medication, that disrupts daily routine, occurs at rest, or recurs after heart attack
- Heart failure with suspected coronary artery disease
- Heart valve disease with symptoms (e.g., shortness of breath)
- Markedly abnormal stress test results
- Recurring chest pain of unidentified cause
- Preliminary results are usually available immediately, indicating whether angioplasty or open-heart surgery is necessary, or if treatment with medication is advisable.
Peripheral vascular disease (PAD) refers to a problem with any of the arteries outside of the heart, but the term is commonly used to describe circulatory problems in the limbs or pelvis. Vascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists and interventional radiologists perform a procedure called angiography in the Interventional Center. Angiography is used to determine if blood flow is blocked or restricted. During this procedure, a dye is injected into the blood vessels. Then through the use of digital imaging equipment, the physician is able to view the flow of blood as it travels through the arteries.
Interventional Radiology Services
Our interventional radiologists perform procedures to diagnose a blockage in a blood vessel, open blocked or narrowed vessels, remove a clot in the legs or pulmonary arteries, stop or prevent internal bleeding, or insert a tube or a port used to deliver nutrients or medication such as chemotherapy. These procedures involve either a small incision or the insertion of a needle, as opposed to larger incisions that are a necessary part of traditional surgery. The benefits of a smaller incision include less risk, less pain and a shorter recovery time.
Pain Management Services
Medication alone may not be enough to manage certain kinds of pain. Some medications are more effective in fighting pain when they are combined with other methods of treatment. In our facility, a number of interventional, minimally invasive procedures are available to patients as a treatment option before considering major surgery.
Procedures Performed include:
Angioplasty: Angioplasty, also called balloon angioplasty, and vascular stenting are minimally invasive procedures performed to improve blood flow in the body’s arteries. In the angioplasty procedure, the physician threads a balloon-tipped catheter—a thin, plastic tube—to the site of a narrow or blocked artery and then inflates the balloon to open the vessel. Another angioplasty procedure, cryosurgery is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme cold in the form of liquid nitrogen or argon gas to freeze and destroy diseased tissue, including cancer cells.
Cardiac Catheterization: Cardiac Catheterization involves passing a catheter (i.e., a thin, flexible tube) through an artery or a vein to the heart, and into a coronary artery. Contrast dye is then injected into the catheter to show areas of blockage. Then, angiograms (i.e., x-ray images) of the coronary arteries and the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, are taken. Cardiac catheterization can also be used to measure pressure in the pulmonary artery and to monitor heart function.
Catheter Angiography: Catheter Angiography is a type of x-ray that is done to image blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the heart, brain and kidneys, so as to determine whether the vessels are diseased, narrowed, enlarged or blocked altogether.
Catheter Embolization: Catheter Embolization is a way of occluding one or more blood vessels that are doing more harm than good. Various materials may be used, depending on whether vessel occlusion is to be temporary or permanent, or whether large or small vessels are being treated. Beads and coils can be deployed via the catheter to assist in the clotting process.
Needle Biopsy: Needle Biopsy involves removing a small piece of tissue for examination by a physician. A needle biopsy, sometimes called a needle aspiration, is the easiest way that tissue can be safely removed from the body. Biopsies are normally done using either ultrasound or CT guidance.
Percutaneous Nephrostomy Tubes: Percutaneous Nephrostomy Tubes provide a minimally invasive way to implant a drainage tube into the kidneys.
Radiofrequency Ablation: During this procedure, a needle electrode is placed inside diseased tissue. A radiofrequency current is passed through the electrode to heat the diseased tissue with the goal of eliminating the diseased tissue.
Radiologic Thrombolysis: Thrombolysis is the treatment to break up abnormal blood clots that are restricting blood flow.Thrombolytic therapy dissolves these blood clots using various medications administered directly into the clot through a catheter. Mechanical thrombolysis is the disruption of a blood clot using one of several mechanical devices.
Spinal Cord Stimulation: During this procedure, low-intensity pulses trigger nerve fibers along the spinal cord. The stimulation of the nerve fibers diminishes or blocks the intensity of the pain message being transmitted to the brain.
TIPS Procedures: A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a type of radiologic bypass that helps treat a condition known as portal hypertension, which is most commonly caused by cirrhosis of the liver.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization: Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a new way of treating fibroid tumors of the uterus. Fibroid tumors, also known as myomas, are masses of fibrous and muscle tissue in the uterine wall which are benign, but which may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, pain in the pelvic region, or pressure on the bladder or bowel. With angiographic methods similar to those used in heart catheterization, a is placed in each of the two uterine arteries and small particles are injected to block the arterial branches that supply blood to the fibroids. The fibroid tissue dies, the masses shrink, and in most cases symptoms are relieved.
Vascular Access Procedures: Vascular Access Procedures involve the insertion of a catheter into a blood vessel to provide a painless way of drawing blood or delivering drugs and nutrients into a patient’s bloodstream. In a vascular access procedure, a special catheter is inserted inside a major vein (generally in one of the large veins in the neck) extending into the large central vein near the heart so that blood can be repeatedly drawn or medication and nutrients can be injected into the patient’s bloodstream on a continual basis or dialysis can be performed.
Venous Access Lines: PICC, Perm-a-cath, tunneled pic, Port-a-cath are all placed by the interventional radiologists.
Vertebroplasty: Vertebroplasy is an image-guided, minimally invasive, nonsurgical therapy used to strengthen a broken vertebra (spinal bone) that has been weakened by osteoporosis or, less commonly, cancer. Vertebroplasty can increase the patient’s functional abilities, allow a return to the previous level of activity, and prevent further vertebral collapse. It is usually successful at alleviating the pain caused by a compression fracture. Often performed on an outpatient basis, vertebroplasty is accomplished by injecting an orthopedic cement mixture through a needle into the fractured bone.
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