Interventional Cardiology

The interventional cardiology team at UF Health Shands Hospital specializes in non-surgical procedures to treat cardiovascular disease. Interventional cardiologists use catheters (thin, flexible tubes) to get inside blood vessels for diagnostic tests or to repair narrowed arteries or weakened heart valves, which often eliminates the need for surgery.

Interventional cardiology is used to treat several forms of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery diseaseperipheral vascular disease and heart valve disease (such as aortic valve stenosis and mitral valve regurgitation.)


Diagnosis

Interventional cardiologists use cardiac catheterization to diagnose problems with the arteries or heart valves.

Cardiac catheterization identifies:

  • the size and location of plaques that may have built up in the arteries from atherosclerosis
  • the strength of the heart muscle
  • the adequacy of valve function

To start the cardiac catheterization, the interventional cardiologist threads a catheter, which is a thin, flexible tube, through a blood vessel in the patient’s arm or groin and into the heart. With the catheter in place, the cardiologist can measure blood pressure, take blood samples and inject dyes into the coronary or other arteries to trace the movement of blood through the arteries and chambers of the heart.

By watching the dye move through the heart’s chambers and blood vessels, the cardiologist can see whether the arteries are narrowed or blocked and whether the valves are working properly. This helps determine whether bypass or valve surgery or angioplasty (catheter-based valve repair) is needed.


Treatment

The interventional cardiologists at UF Health Shands Hospital specialize in a number of procedures that include: