What is Interventional Cardiology?
Interventional cardiology is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart. Interventional cardiology techniques make use of a thin tube called a catheter which is inserted into blood vessels including arteries or veins through a tiny incision and with the help of imaging techniques, the internal organs and vessels are viewed and treated accordingly.
Interventional cardiology techniques are minimally invasive as they are performed through a tiny incision unlike the larger incision used in conventional open surgery.
How is Interventional Cardiology Different from Cardiology?
Interventional cardiology is a subset of cardiology and requires a minimum one-year fellowship in addition to specific cardiology training. For the treatment of pediatric conditions through interventional cardiology, most cardiologists take additional non-accredited training that lasts for a year.
What are the Disorders Treated through Interventional Cardiology?
Interventional cardiology is used to treat numerous conditions including:
- Congenital heart defects (present from birth)
- Ischemic heart diseases (due to lack of blood supply to the heart)
- Coronary artery disease due to narrowed or blocked arteries
What are the Different Work Settings for Interventional Cardiologists?
The different work settings for interventional cardiologists include:
- Cardiology clinics: government and private
- Multispecialty hospitals: government and private
- Emergency departments
- Military hospitals
- Medical schools and universities
What are the Surgical Procedures Performed By an Interventional Cardiologist?
An interventional cardiologist is involved in the following surgical procedures:
- Repair/replacement of the valves in your heart
- Repair of atrial and ventricular septal defects
- Placement of stents into your arteries
- Conducting follow-ups with patients post-treatment
Benefits of Interventional Cardiology
Undergoing an interventional cardiology treatment offers the following benefits:
- Smaller incision
- Less blood loss
- Reduced pain
- Quicker recovery
- Shorter hospital stay