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Interventional cardiology

Advanced care for your heart without the surgery

Interventional cardiology is a subspecialty of cardiology that focuses on minimally invasive procedures to treat structural heart disease (including congenital heart defects), coronary artery disease, heart-valve disease, and vascular disease. These procedures involve catheter-based and stenting techniques and are usually performed in a cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab).

The field of interventional cardiology represents a revolutionary way to treat heart and vascular disease. Without the risks and lengthy recovery time associated with traditional open surgery, interventional cardiology utilizes the newest technology and procedures to effectively treat cardiovascular disease.

Patients who have coronary artery blockages, valve disease or other heart defects that need repair may be good candidates for interventional cardiology procedures.


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At Salem Health, we take care of our patients every step of the way to help you better understand what is wrong and how we’re going to help you toward improved cardiovascular health. Through expert patient education and treatment, we help patients and their loved ones learn more about their care. Our team is centered on your care.



Tests and treatments

During heart catheterization, a long, thin tube known as a catheter is inserted in a vein or an artery leading to the heart. Guided by live X-rays, the catheter is guided through a blood vessel until it reaches the heart, where our expert team of cardiovascular doctors is then able to carry out a variety of diagnostic tests or administer heart treatment, such as a coronary angioplasty to open clogged arteries.

The advantage of catheterization is that it’s far less invasive than traditional surgeries. Because the catheters are so small, it also greatly decreases the risk of scarring and pain. Treatment is typically quick. You’ll often be able to return home the same day.


Catheter based test

We perform advanced diagnostic procedures to ensure we get an accurate picture of your heart health. These procedures include angiography, cardiac biopsy and intravascular ultrasound. Some of the cardiovascular and heart conditions that heart catheterization can identify include:

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart valve problems
  • Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)
Cath lab surgeons doing a procedure on a patient

The experienced team of cardiologists at Salem Health provide a number of interventional procedures to treat heart issues. We continue to prioritize your health, focusing on offering the latest approaches available.

Some of the catheter-based treatments we provide include:

  • Percutaneus transluminal coronary angioplasty — To treat blocked arteries, a balloon catheter is guided to the site of the blockage. The balloon is inflated for a few seconds to compress the blockage against the artery wall. This may be repeated a few times.
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump — To help with circulation, a small helium-filled balloon is inserted into the aorta. When the heart fills with blood, the balloon inflates, augmenting blood pressure. When the heart contracts, the balloon deflates causing a vacuum effect. This can help reduce the workload on your heart and increase blood flow. The inflation is controlled either by a pacemaker, a pre-set rate, an electrocardiogram, or the patient’s blood pressure.
  • Stenting (drug eluting and bare metal) — This is a small tube usually made of plastic or metal that helps blood move past blockages or narrow blood vessels. Drug eluting stents are coated with medication that can prevent cell growth. This is helpful in preventing restenosis, or a re-narrowing of a blood vessel.
  • Temporary and permanent pacemakers — A pacemaker is a small electrical device that is implanted into the chest or abdomen. It uses small electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate for patients with arrhythmia.
  • Automatic implantable coronary defibrillator (ICD) — Similar to a pacemaker, an ICD is a small, electrical device implanted in the chest or abdomen. It keeps track of your heart rate and, if it detects anything abnormal, will deliver electrical pulses to the heart restore a normal rhythm. This can help prevent sudden death and cardiac arrest in patients with more severe heart issues.



Interventional cardiology frequently asked questions

What is interventional cardiology?
What conditions does interventional cardiology treat?
What procedures does an interventional cardiologist perform?
What is the role of an interventional cardiologist in the treatment of heart disease?
How does an interventional cardiology procedure work?
What are the risks and benefits of interventional cardiology procedures?

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Salem Health Heart and Vascular Center

Salem Hospital, Building B
665 Winter St. SE
Salem, OR 97301

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Phone: 503-814-1700
Fax: 503-814-1776