Minimally invasive techniques to treat heart disease
In some cases, heart disease can be treated using minimally invasive interventional cardiology techniques that use a catheter (thin, flexible tube) inserted into the arteries. The catheter is guided to the heart to open blocked arteries and improve blood flow. These advanced techniques are performed on an outpatient basis and offer a non-surgical alternative to treat many heart conditions.
Lancaster Regional Medical Center’s board-certified interventional cardiologists use a variety of advanced catheter-assisted techniques to treat heart disease, including:
- Diagnostic cardiac catheterization – Examines the heart with real-time images (fluoroscopy), and measures blood pressure, blood flow, oxygen levels, and is used to collect biopsies and blood samples.
- Angioplasty – A tiny balloon on the end of a catheter is inflated to push plaque against the wall of the artery to improve blood flow. A laser can also be used to break up the plaque.
- Stent placement – A stent, which is a small mesh tube, is placed in an artery to hold it open and improve blood flow.
- Ablation – A catheter fitted with a tiny electrode eliminates abnormal heart cells that cause arrhythmias.
- Coronary atherectomy – A catheter fitted with a tiny rotating shaver removes hardened plaque to open a blocked artery.
Heart surgery expertise
When open-heart surgery offers the best treatment solution, Lancaster Regional’s board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons are well equipped to perform advanced procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), congenital heart disease repair and valve repair and replacement.