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Sands-Constellation Heart Institute

Interventional Cardiology

Rochester Regional Health’s Interventional Cardiology team of cardiologists and specialists treat patients who have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, structural heart disease, and peripheral vascular diseases. We offer a wide range of surgical and non-surgical interventional cardiology procedures, both minimally- and non-invasive, so our patients can return to living a healthy life.

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Treatments

Our advanced interventional cardiology treatments like angioplasty, stents, coronary angiogram, MitraClip, and TAVR lead the region for patients with heart and valve conditions or who are suffering from heart failure.

Coronary Angiogram

A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses x-ray imaging to see the inside of your heart’s blood vessels. It is performed using local anesthesia and intravenous sedation.

Approach: A small catheter is inserted through the skin into an artery in either your groin or arm. An x-ray viewing instrument, known as a fluoroscope, is guided to the opening of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. A small amount of radiographic contrast is injected into the vessels to produce images that can accurately reveal the extent and severity of all coronary artery blockages. If stenting or angioplasty is needed, this is when it's performed.

Angioplasty

Angioplasty is a common non-surgical method of widening obstructed coronary arteries. Many angioplasty patients can return home the same day as their procedure.

Approach: We attach a collapsed balloon to a catheter, insert it into narrowed arteries, and inflate the balloon using water pressure 75 to 500 times stronger than normal blood pressure. This compresses the fatty deposits lining the artery and allows more blood and oxygen to be delivered to the heart muscle. This procedure can relieve chest pain or angina and minimize or stop a heart attack.

Stents

A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube that props an artery open and is left there permanently. Stents are most commonly used when coronary arteries are narrowed which reduces blood flow. It helps to keep coronary arteries open and decrease the chance of a heart attack. Stents have decreased the number of patients in the U.S. needing emergency open-heart surgery to below 1%.

Approach: If your artery is narrowed, a doctor may perform a procedure called an angioplasty, where they insert a balloon-tipped tube (called a catheter) into the artery and move it to the point of blockage. From there, the balloon is inflated, compressing the plaque and opening the narrowed spot. Stents are placed in an artery during angioplasty and remain in the artery as a scaffold, after the balloon has been deflated and removed.

Rotational Atherectomy

Rotational atherectomies use a tiny rotating cutting blade to open a narrowed artery and improve blood flow to or from the heart by grinding away plaque build-up. A stent is often placed in the artery to prevent re-narrowing. Atherectomy is needed when the plaque in the heart arteries has become calcified and is very hard. 

Approach: This procedure is done while a patient is awake and under local pain medicine. Patients often walk within six hours after the procedure, though an overnight stay at the hospital is usually required.

MitraClip

The MitraClip procedure is a minimally invasive procedure used to stop blood from flowing backwards into the heart when a patient’s mitral valve fails to close completely.

Approach: Unlike surgery, the MitraClip procedure doesn’t require opening the chest. Instead, we access the mitral valve with a thin tube called a catheter that is guided through a vein in your leg to reach your heart. The MitraClip device is a small clip that is attached to your mitral valve. It allows your mitral valve to close more completely which helps to restore normal blood flow through the heart. Learn more about the MitraClip procedure.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces a narrowed aortic valve that doesn’t open properly. The new valve is inserted inside the old valve. Once the new valve has expanded, it pushes the old valve out and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow in the heart.

Approach: The TAVR procedure can be performed by entering through the femoral artery (groin), or by entering through a larger artery in the chest. Learn more about the TAVR procedure.

Renal Angioplasty and Stents

Renal angioplasty and stents relieve blockages in the renal artery, which is the main blood vessel to the kidneys. Blockages in kidney arteries can cause high blood pressures that do not improve with medications.

Approach: Using a catheter and a special balloon, we inflate the artery and open the blockage to allow more blood to flow through it. The insertion of a tiny hollow tube called a stent may be necessary to keep the arteries open.

Subclavian Angioplasty and Stents

The subclavian arteries are the two major arteries of the upper chest, located below your collarbone. These arteries receive blood from the aorta and supply blood to your arms.

Approach: Using a catheter and a special balloon, we inflate the artery and open the blockage to allow more blood to flow through it. At this time, the insertion of a stent may be necessary to keep the arteries open.

Limb-Saving Efforts

Patients with blocked arteries in their legs may experience ulcers or wounds that aren’t healing, or discomfort from walking that disrupts their way life. The poor blood flow from these blockages also increases the risk of amputation. Historically, Upstate New York has high amputation rates, but our doctors and leading-edge efforts are working to change that.

Approach: We take the most aggressive approach regionally to saving limbs, working closely with the Wound Healing Center at St. Anne’s Community, the Wound Care Center at United Memorial Medical Center, and our exceptional Vascular Surgery team. Our Wound Care Centers develops a personalized plan that matches your wound needs and utilizes techniques that include compression therapy, total contact casting, negative-pressure wound therapy, or cellular tissue products. Whether your wound is chronic or has been caused by a burn, diabetes, or poor circulation, our team will help you get back to doing the things you love.

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Contact Us

To get started with an interventional cardiology appointment at Rochester Regional Health, call (585) 442-5320.
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