A qualified cardiologist places a catheter through a blood vessel with X-ray guidance to take photos of the heart, arteries and heart chambers. This procedure can also be used to assess and measure heart valves and coronary arteries. Most patients are able to go home the same day if no further intervention is needed. The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and responds within 30 minutes for emergency procedures.
- Radial approach cardiac catheterization - Is available close to home at Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center. This procedure is only performed at 10% of medical centers in U.S. As with the traditional femoral artery technique, this procedure is used to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease by clearing blockages, delivering medicine and positioning stents. The radial artery located in the wrist is located much closer to the skin surface, the needle puncture is more straightforward for the cardiologist and less uncomfortable for the patient. When the procedure has been completed, a band similar to a wristwatch is placed around the wrist, which applies pressure and prevents bleeding. Most patients are able to sit up immediately. It reduces recovery time and may provide a less stressful option for patients who need to undergo a cardiac catheterization. This innovative technique may be beneficial for those who are morbidly obese, suffering from lower back pain or PVD, geriatric patients, athletes, any one who can’t lay flat for extended periods of time and postpartum mothers.
- Volcano Intravascular ultrasound machine - This catheter based system that allows physicians to acquire images of diseased vessels from inside the artery. The images provide detailed and accurate measurements of lumen and vessel size, plaque area and volume, and the location of key anatomical landmarks. This helps differentiate the four plaque types: fibrous, fibro-fatty, necrotic core and dense calcium and allows for accurate sizing of stent to be used.
- Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA) - During this procedure, a catheter is inserted through an artery and guided to a location where the vessel has narrowed from some form of vascular disease such as plaque. Once in the desired location, a small balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated, compressing the plaque against the vessel wall and restoring blood flow.