Our Interventional Cardiologists
We offer a comprehensive range of invasive coronary interventions including:
Coronary Angiograms are procedures where a special X-ray of your heart’s arteries is taken to see if they are narrowed or blocked. A catheter (a long tube) is inserted into an artery in your groin or wrist and is threaded up until it reaches your heart. A special dye is then injected into the tube and X-ray images are taken as the dye is pumped through your heart and coronary arteries (the arteries supplying blood to your heart). These X-rays give clear and accurate information about the state of your heart and coronary arteries.
Angioplasty is a procedure that widens a severely narrowed blood vessel using a balloon. These narrowings occur within the heart arteries due to abnormal deposits known as plaque. Restoration of a wider passage in a diseased heart artery aims to improve blood flow to the heart muscle and therefore relieve chest pain; often referred to as angina. An interventional cardiologist, a specialist who has advanced training in this area, performs this procedure.
A stent is a mesh “cylinder” that is inserted at the site of a narrowed blood vessel. It is usually inserted after balloon angioplasty in order to reduce the chance of the blockage returning over the long term. The first stents were inserted in 1986 and over the last 20 years there have been many advances in stent technology. They are now made of a composite metal, often with a drug coating that prevents blood vessel re-narrowing. There is ongoing evaluation and development of stents made from naturally dissolving materials, which may eventually leave no residual foreign material.
Acute Total Occlusions
When heart arteries suddenly completely block, the patient usually develops chest pain and may suffer a heart attack. The best treatment is the urgent restoration of blood flow in order to minimise damage to the heart muscle. This is most commonly performed by balloon angioplasty and stent insertion.
Chronic Total Occlusions
Heart arteries may have been blocked for a long period of time. When this is greater than 6 months these are referred to as Chronic Total Occlusions (CTO). Over the last decade there have been significant advances in the ability to treat CTO’s with angioplasty and stent insertion. These advances incorporate new techniques and novel equipment. A number of our interventionists have developed world-class expertise in this area through international mentorship and the establishment of a dedicated program for treatment of Chronic Total Occlusions.