There are many specialized areas of medicine. Doctors gain a general understanding of medicine and when their course completes many doctors decide to take additional training in specific areas of interest branching off into a specialty area such as the human heart and the cardiovascular system. This area of expertise takes several more years of education. Some doctors in this specialty area learn an expertise in interventional cardiovascular medicine.
This area of medicine, interventional cardiology, considered a subspecialty of cardiac medicine has to do with the study of the human heart and its functions. Doctors learn the techniques and procedures geared to treat coronary artery disease, valvular, and congenital cardiac disease through catheter-based treatment of heart disease.
Cardiac technologies find that many heart-related issues can be remedied through the use of a heart catheter while the doctor visualizes the X-ray during the procedure.
The Cardiac specialist may use the radial artery, femoral artery, or the peripheral artery or vein. Many cardiologists opt to use the radial artery for catheter insertion due to,
- Easy accessibility of site
- Good control of any bleeding
- Your increased comfort because using this site does not demand you lay flat for hours and you have an ability to walk soon after the procedure
- Avoids scaring
- Offers decreased pain issues
- No long recovery times
Interventional cardiovascular medicine is a branch or subspecialty of cardiology using catheters to treat your cardiac disease. Angioplasty procedures through interventional cardiology prove to be standard care to date, 2017, for myocardial infarction. Interventional cardiology can remove blood clots and insert stents.
Cardiologists can treat many of the known heart conditions through heart catheterization using fluoroscopy especially in the treatment of congenital cardiac disease, valvular, and coronary artery disease.
This specialty doctor is devoted to correctly diagnosing, initiating appropriate mechanical and medical therapies, before and after care, and the management of your care if you suffer from acute and chronic cardiovascular disease through approaches of catheter therapies such as,
- Balloon Angioplasty
- Coronary Stent Placements
- Extraction, Rotational, Directional Coronary Atherectomy
- Peripheral Angioplasty
- Balloon Valvuloplasty
If you have coronary heart disease such as narrowed coronary arteries, had a heart attack, or suffered from an acute myocardial infarction, you may have no choice but to have stents placed in your coronary arteries. This procedure can be your deliberate choice as a preventative approach to decrease your risks for coronary heart disease.
Heart catheterization over the last several years have proven to decrease your risk for heart disease substantially to the point that other medical professionals such as electrophysiologists, echocardiologists, congenital cardiologists become skilled at,
- Implanting cardioverter defibrillators
- Radiofrequency ablation procedures
- Balloon dilatation of main arteries
- Percutaneous valve replacements
- Aortic Coarctation
Many of these procedures are done as a single procedure or in conjunction with interventional cardiology procedures by the Cardiothoracic surgeon.
Has Improved Cardiology Techniques Caused a Division among Cardiologists?
According to William E. Boden MD, Facc, FAHA, “Are not all cardiologists, general Cardiologists?” Over 30 years ago, doctors had only stricter and minimum coronary approaches available to treat you if you suffered from heart disease. Over the last 20 plus years, cardiology technologies have devised other broader approaches towards heart health, informing and educating the general cardiologist on significant advances and interventions for heart health.
One update in cardiology is the availability of the newer heart stents made with only a bare minimum of metal and the advent of biodegradable stents.
Educational forums for the heart specialist offer advances in,
- Thrombus Aspirations
- Stem Cell Therapy
- Percutaneous Valve Procedures
- Vascular Protection Devices
- Carotid Stenting and much more
A specialized doctor in interventional cardiology shows a keen interest in heart issues such as integrated imaging, imaging modalities, invasive procedures, image-guided interventions, evaluation of IVUS, ICE, magnetic resonance, CT images and scintigraphic.
Should there be a Division among Cardiologists?
In our current day of highly improved cardiac technologies, there remain two types of cardiology specialists, the invasive and the noninvasive cardiology doctor, of which many cardiologists feel wrong and do not benefit your care as a cardiac patient.
The cardiology specialist, for the most part, feels this specialty area should not be divided into these two groups but remains undivided with areas of specialties well defined.
Many of these specialty doctors devoted to interventional cardiovascular medicine agree with the words of William Boden, “Who stated that any cardiologist who actively treats a patient performs an intervention. Are we not all general cardiologists?”