Interventional cardiology is a specialty branch of cardiology that deals specifically with the catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases. Over time, plaque can develop and layer in the coronary arteries, cutting off blood supply to the heart muscle.
Memorial Health System’s interventional cardiology team led by Joseph Mayo, M.D., Ph. D. We offer cardiac catheterization and angioplasty for emergency cases. Our team also participates in research studies through C-PORT with John Hopkins, improving cardiac care and offering angioplasty to select elective cases.
Your heart’s arteries can become blocked or narrowed from a buildup of cholesterol, cells or other substances (plaque). This can reduce blood flow to your heart and cause chest discomfort. Sometimes a blood clot can suddenly form or get worse and completely block blood flow, leading to a heart attack.
Angioplasty opens blocked arteries and restores normal blood flow to your heart muscle. With coronary angioplasty, a thin, expandable balloon is inserted into the clogged artery and is inflated. This opens the artery by pushing the plaque against the artery wall. The balloon is then removed and blood flows more easily through the artery.
Cardiac catheterization (also called cardiac cath) allows our physicians to evaluate your heart function and detect heart conditions. This test shows blood vessels of the heart and inside the heart as it pumps, allowing our physicians and staff to check the blood flow through the arteries for plaque buildup.
During a cardiac catheterization, a long, narrow tube called a catheter is inserted through a plastic introducer sheath (a short, hollow tube that is inserted into a blood vessel in your leg or arm). The catheter is guided through the blood vessel to the coronary arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine.