Cardiologists Explained

Interventional cardiologists – do stents and PTCAs

Non-interventional Cardiologists – do caths, but no stents or PTCAs

Invasive Cardiologists – do caths, and may do stents or PTCAs

Non-invasive Cardiologists – does not do caths, stents or PTCAs

PCTA – Percutanueous transluminal coronary angioplasty is one of the most common procedures for opening damaged or obstructed coronary arteries (sometime referred to as the “balloon” procedure.)

A stent is a wire metal mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty. The stent is collapsed to a small diameter and put over a balloon catheter. It’s then moved into the area of the blockage. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands, locks in place and forms a scaffold. This holds the artery open. The stent stays in the artery permanently, holds it open, improves blood flow to the heart muscle and relieves symptoms (usually chest pain).

Cardiac catheterization (cath) is a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat certain heart conditions. A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin (upper thigh), or neck and threaded to your heart. Through the catheter, doctors can do diagnostic tests and treatments on your heart.  Blockages in the coronary arteries also can be seen using ultrasound during cardiac catheterization. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of the heart’s blood vessels.

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