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Interventional cardiologists
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Interventional cardiologists


An interventional cardiologist is a cardiologist with one to two years of additional education and training in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease as well as congenital (present at birth) and structural heart conditions through catheter-based procedures, such as angioplasty and stenting.

Why do you need to see them?

If you are experiencing chest pain, it is important to seek medical attention as this could be a sign of a blocked artery. Alternatively, if you have chronic symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, you may need to be evaluated for a heart condition. Interventional cardiologists can treat a variety of conditions, ranging from angina to aortic stenosis to heart attack. If you have a highly specialized condition, it can be helpful to seek out a doctor with special training in that area. This is especially true for conditions like congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, or chronic total occlusion.

What do they do?

Interventional cardiologists help people with heart conditions using minimally-invasive procedures that require a thin, flexible tube to be inserted through a small incision in the skin and into the blood vessels leading to the heart. These procedures are often quicker and have a shorter recovery time than traditional surgery.

The approach of using a stent to open a blocked artery, repair or replace a damaged heart valve, and perform other procedures is becoming more popular. This is because while open-heart surgery is still the most appropriate treatment in some cases, the less invasive procedures are becoming just as effective.

What else you should know?

In the last 5-10 years, there have been great strides in the field of interventional cardiology- one of the most significant being transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure in which a new heart valve is inserted to replace the old, damaged one. (The new valve is collapsible and inserted into the original valve. Once in place, it is expanded so that it takes over the job of controlling blood flow.)

Another treatment option is MitraClip™, a small device that helps the mitral valve close more completely. In addition, there is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also called angioplasty. This improves blood flow to the heart in people with a 100% artery blockage who would not be able to have bypass surgery.

Physician consultation is a good opportunity and you should be prepared for it.

  • Carry all necessary medical records for the discussion. It helps in better understanding your heart condition and avoids repetition of diagnostic tests.
  • Make sure you discuss your past medical history, surgical history, family history, and medications that you are taking.
  • Discuss about your lifestyle habits, dietary habits and also about your profession. Your lifestyle and nature of job may be associated with the risk for cardiac diseases.
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