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
Dallas Regional Medical Center’s board-certified interventional cardiologists
use a variety of advanced catheter-assisted techniques to treat heart
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.