Interventional Cardiology Treatments & Services

When it comes to matters of the heart, expertise matters most. Emory’s Cardiology Division has a long tradition of excellence in coronary and peripheral vascular procedures, pioneering and perfecting significant innovations over the years that have revolutionized the field of interventional cardiology.

Our cardiac catheterization laboratories are staffed by board-certified physicians, experienced nurses and specially trained technologists who provide patients with high-quality care and a full range of effective treatments for cardiac and vascular diseases, including:

Percutaneous Coronary Interventions

Percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) are minimally invasive procedures used to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. PCI procedures use catheters (thin, flexible tubes) to deliver various treatments to affected areas of coronary arteries. The catheter is generally inserted through a small incision in the arm or groin area and threaded to the area of the blockage. Common PCI procedures include:

• Atherectomy: A procedure to clear blocked arteries using a catheter with a blade attached to the tip that scrapes away the plaque (hardened fatty deposits) to restore blood flow.

• Excimer Laser Procedures: In excimer procedures, a laser catheter (thin, flexible tube) is used to “vaporize” arterial blockages.

• Stent Placement: Stents are thin mesh tubes generally made of metal or plastic that are often used to open up clogged or blocked arteries.

• Coronary Thrombectomy: A procedure used to remove a thrombus (blood clot) from a coronary artery. It is particularly useful in patients experiencing acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks).

Learn more about Percutaneous Coronary Intervention at Emory.

Percutaneous Peripheral Interventions

Minimally invasive procedures used to open blocked or narrowed non-cardiac arteries throughout the body. Peripheral interventions use catheters (thin, flexible tubes) to deliver various treatments to open blocked or narrowed arteries. The catheter is generally inserted through a small incision in the skin and threaded to the area of the blockage. Common peripheral interventions include:

• Atherectomy: A procedure to clear blocked arteries using a catheter with a blade attached to the tip that scrapes away the plaque (hardened fatty deposits) to restore blood flow.

• Balloon Angioplasty With or Without Stent Placement: In balloon angioplasty, a tiny balloon attached to the tip of a catheter is delivered to the site of the blocked artery, where the balloon is inflated, opening the vessel. Depending on the condition of the artery, a stent (thin mesh tube) may be inserted to keep the artery open.

• Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy (or cold therapy) for peripheral arterial disease is similar to balloon angioplasty, except that the balloon is inflated with nitrous oxide instead of saline. The nitrous oxide causes the temperature of the balloon’s exterior to drop to a level that freezes and breaks up the debris blocking the vessel.

• Laser Excision: Excimer Laser Procedures: In excimer procedures, a laser catheter (thin, flexible tube) is used to “vaporize” arterial blockages.

• Rotational Atherectomy: A procedure to clear blocked arteries using a catheter with a tiny drill bit attached to the tip that clears a path through the plaque (hardened fatty deposits) to restore blood flow.

Carotid Interventions

There are a number of innovative approaches to treat carotid artery disease, including carotid angioplasty and stenting. Although only recently recognized as alternative therapy for blockages in the neck arteries, the use and success rate of these procedures are increasing.

Carotid angioplasty and stenting involve inserting a catheter through a small incision in the groin and threading it into the carotid artery. A small wire is placed across the narrowed area under X-ray guidance. An angioplasty balloon may then be expanded to open the narrowed section and a stent (thin mesh tube) may be placed to keep the artery open. At Emory, carotid angioplasty and stenting are performed by well-recognized experts in the field primarily in patients who are unable to undergo surgery (endarterectomy).

Minimally Invasive Valve Repair

Valvuloplasty is the process of widening narrowed cardiac valves.

Learn more about valvuloplasty.

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement

An alternative to open heart surgery, transcatheter aortic valve implantation is a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis.

Learn more about transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

Septal Defect and Patent Foramen Ovale Closure

These procedures are used to close congenital (present from birth) holes in the heart.

Robotically Assisted, Minimally Invasive Bypass Surgery

This procedure is used to perform coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) without opening up the chest cavity, providing appropriate patients with a number of advantages, including less trauma and a significantly shorter recovery time.

Learn more about this innovative procedure.

TAVR