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Photo of the cath labThe Heart Hospital ​Baylor Denton is known for its five-star patient experience and innovative approach to heart disease and advanced treatments. Our highly trained interventional cardiologists on our medical staff are experts at diagnosing and treating heart problems with cardiac catheterization. Whether it is a diagnosis for a heart disorder or an emergency treatment for a guest experiencing chest pain or a heart attack, our guests know they are in expert hands.​

Cardiac catheterization involves inserting a catheter, a thin flexible tube, into a blood vessel in the leg or arm and guiding it to the arteries in the heart. Specialists use catheterization to diagnose and treat many heart problems. Unlike surgery, which requires large incisions, the catheter is inserted through a small nick in the thigh or arm. This usually means you have less discomfort, heal faster, and get back to your life more quickly than with open heart surgery.

One of the most common procedures using catheterization is cardiac catheterization and angioplasty. In guests who may have blocked coronary (heart) arteries, a catheterization procedure using a dye can help the cardiologist know how much of the artery is affected by plaque that narrows or blocks the artery. During the procedure, a balloon can be inserted and slightly inflated to push open the blockage to allow blood to flow through the artery. Following the angioplasty (balloon procedure), a stent is placed to hold back the plaque. A stent is a small metal mesh scaffolding-like device through which the blood can flow more freely.

Cardiac catheterization and angioplasty is one of the best approaches to treating a heart attack​. During a heart attack, the faster an artery is open, the less damage the heart experiences. Specialists use cardiac catheterization to determine the extent of blockage in a guest's heart and help open the arteries that are blocked. Door-to-balloon time is an initiative that measures how much time it takes to get a guest from the door of the ER to undergoing a balloon angioplasty to open an affected artery.​

In addition to catheterization, angioplasty and stenting, the specialists on our medical staff offer unique procedures:

  • Diagnostic catheterization through the wrist (radial artery catheterization)
  • Intravascular ultrasound techniques, optical coherence tomography and fractional flow reserve
  • Peripheral vascular angioplasty
  • Rotational and directional atherectomy
  • Stent placement in various blood vessels to different organs (carotid artery stenting, upper and lower extremity interventions and renal stenting)
  • Complex interventional procedures such as multi-vessel coronary intervention, left main coronary intervention and complete total occlusion intervention
  • Structural heart disease interventions such as closure of abnormal openings in the septum between the atrial and/or ventricular chambers of the heart
  • Transcatheter valve procedures including TAVR, MitraClip®​, balloon mitral valvuloplasty and balloon aortic valvuloplasty
  • Innovative research in cardiac and peripheral catheterization, angioplasty, stenting and valve disease
  • Offer courses to teach physicians in advanced cardiac and peripheral techniques
  • Treatment of congestive heart failure with left ventricular assist devices and biventricular pacing

The catheterization specialists on our medical staff are also leaders in innovative techniques and approaches. Advances in surgical and interventional techniques, such as robotic surgery, allow The Heart Hospital to perform hybrid operations. These complex procedures are performed partly through robotics and partly through catheter-based technology. The specialists on our medical staff are also using the radial arterial access approach for catheterization and interventions in select cases. Radial artery access allows a cardiologist to insert a catheter through the radial artery in the wrist instead of the femoral artery in the groin to access the heart and arteries for diagnostic and treatment purposes. These newer approaches usually help speed recovery and create quality outcomes for many of our guests. Patients also may benefit from these approaches by experiencing less bleeding, less risk of nerve trauma, lower rates of complication, shorter recovery, and a shorter length of hospital stay enabling "same day discharge."

The Heart Hospital features three advanced catheterization labs where procedures are performed. Designed by cardiologists for cardiologists, our labs offer advanced diagnostic and treatment technology.

Quality outcomes and innovative treatment approaches are two of the main focuses of the Catheterization Lab. The interventional cardiologists on The Heart Hospital medical staff and catheterization lab staff also place a high priority on patient safety and comfort. Safety and quality are carefully monitored by a panel of physicians who review every angioplasty procedure done in our hospital. All of these procedures are also reported to a national quality registry. For the safety of our guests, the catheterization lab has initiated the "Stop the Line" process. If at any time during a procedure a staff member needs to stop a procedure for clarification, our team has the full and immediate support and attention of medical directors. Guest safety is at the center of our patient care.

For more information, call 940.220.0600 or toll-free 1.855.760.0600; or for a physician referral, contact 1.855.9BAYLOR (1.855.922.9567).

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