What is an interventional cardiologist?
All cardiologists are specialists in the function of your heart. Some cardiologists take that specialty a step further and treat heart issues using minimally invasive techniques. These advanced specialists are called interventional cardiologists.
When would a cardiologist intervene?
Your heart is basically a pump that constantly circulates blood throughout your body. When the various “pipes” in and around your heart are blocked, this can cause problems — some of which are dangerous or deadly. If one of the four heart valves is damaged or wears out, this can also keep blood from flowing properly.
Common buzzwords in this area:
- Catheterization, or "cath": This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a cardiologist inserts a catheter into a vein (usually near your groin, but it can often be done through a vein in your arm) and threads it up to your heart.
- Stent: This device can be inserted to widen blood vessels connected to your heart.
- Occlusion, or blockage: Over time (and depending on your diet and lifestyle), deposits can build up and block blood vessels. This is one of the ways heart attacks happen.