Combining attentive, compassionate care with our extensive clinical and research resources, UT Southwestern's cardiology experts and vascular specialists deliver individualized care within pre-eminent health care facilities.
The specialized interventional cardiologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center perform a number of sophisticated minimally invasive procedures to improve heart conditions and manage symptoms.
From heart failure and rhythm disorders to coronary artery disease and valve conditions, our experienced team can evaluate and treat a wide range of cardiovascular concerns.
Minimally Invasive Procedures to Evaluate and Treat Heart Disease
UT Southwestern’s interventional cardiologists use advanced, catheter-based procedures to treat and manage symptoms for people diagnosed with or suspected of having cardiovascular conditions such as:
Minimally invasive procedures allow eligible patients to avoid open-heart surgery.
Interventional Cardiology Procedures
Our interventional cardiologists perform a variety of minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease. These include:
Cardiac Catheterization Procedures
In a cardiac catheterization, a cardiologist guides a catheter to the heart to perform diagnostic examinations and treatment procedures such as:
- Balloon angioplasty: The cardiologist guides a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a tiny balloon at its tip to the site of a narrowed or blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to compress plaque against the artery wall to help restore blood flow.
- Catheter ablation: The cardiologist uses a catheter to deliver focused energy to specific areas of the heart, creating a tiny scar that stops irregular electrical impulses that originate in the pulmonary veins.
- Coronary stents: The cardiologist uses a catheter to insert a small, lattice-shaped metal tube at the site of a narrowed coronary artery to relieve narrowing. Some stents contain medications that can reduce the risk that the artery will become blocked again.
Electrophysiology (EP) Studies
Using a catheter with electrodes at its tip, a cardiologist measures the heart’s electrical impulses, pinpoints the injured heart muscle’s precise location, and administers tiny electric impulses to affect heart rhythm problems to learn more about them.
Using a low-voltage electric current delivered to the chest with patches or paddles, a cardiologist can reset the heart rhythm to a normal pace. The procedure is used in conjunction with a short-acting anesthetic.
Several small battery-operated devices implanted near the heart are used to treat heart rhythm disorders. These devices include:
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD): ICDs continuously monitor cardiac rhythm and, when necessary, deliver an electric current to regulate it. The current is calibrated to respond differently when the rhythm needs to be slowed down or when defibrillation is needed to reset the heart to a normal rhythm.
- Implantable pacemaker: Pacemakers help prevent the heart from beating too slowly. Some pacemakers include heart rhythm sensors so that they can increase or decrease the heart rate as needed.
UT Southwestern’s cardiac rehabilitation specialists create customized plans that integrate proper nutrition, exercise, and, if necessary, nicotine cessation into patients’ lifestyles to improve their cardiovascular health.
As one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, UT Southwestern offers a number of clinical trials aimed at improving the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Clinical trials often give patients access to leading-edge treatments that are not yet widely available. Eligible patients who choose to participate in one of UT Southwestern’s clinical trials might receive treatments years before they are available to the public.