Expertise in opening narrowed coronary arteries

Plaque can build up in your coronary arteries, causing them to narrow and reducing blood flow to areas of your body. We can place a small wire tube called a stent within the artery to keep it open and allow better blood flow.

Our Interventional Cardiology Program averages nearly 12,000 procedures annually, giving our doctors extensive experience in many cardiac catheterization procedures. We offer the latest minimally invasive approaches using new technologies to provide the most effective care.

Video

Stenting procedure

You likely will be asked to not eat or drink before the procedure. Ask your doctor if you should take any current medications on the day of the procedure.

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The doctor will insert an IV in your arm or hand, and you may be given fluids and blood-thinning medications. You will remain awake during the procedure but will receive a sedative to help you relax. We’ll monitor your heart with an electrocardiogram, which will be connected using small disks with wires placed on your chest. A local anesthetic will be injected in your wrist or groin to numb the area before the catheter, a small tube, is inserted into an artery.

Your doctor will use X-ray images to guide the catheter to the blockage in your coronary artery. A small amount of contrast dye may be injected to allow the blockage to appear more clearly in the images. A balloon angioplasty is performed during placement of the stent. The balloon at the end of the catheter carries the stent to the blockage. When the balloon is inflated, it pushes the plaque against the walls of the artery, and the stent is released into place. There may be some pain or discomfort while the balloon is inflated, but it should be relieved when the balloon deflates.

Depending on the number of blockages, the procedure may take several hours, and you may need to spend the night in the hospital for observation. After a few days, the tissue in your arteries will start to cover the stent. Your doctor will recommend anti-platelet medication to prevent blood clots from forming in the stent.

Conditions

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease in the United States.

Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease is a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels and can result in heart disease.

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a tear in the layers of tissue of the coronary artery. Blood can collect between these layers, causing a blockage of blood flow to the heart.

Tests

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Fractional Flow Reserve

Fractional flow reserve, also known as FFR, is a measurement of how well blood can flow through the coronary arteries. Narrowing or blockages in these arteries can lead to a heart attack without treatment.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and chemically induced stress tests.

Our providers

Cardiologist taking EKG test of senior patient

Expert cardiology care

Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our cardiologists.

Our locations

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MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

9000 Franklin Square Dr
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

Read our Cardiovascular Performance & Outcomes Booklet

Ask MHVI

Have questions for our heart and vascular specialists? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net