Scripps heart specialists perform the highest number of cardiac catheterizations in San Diego County. Our interventional cardiologists are at the leading edge of heart diagnostics and treatment innovation, helping launch new FDA-approved devices to treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart valve disease, peripheral vascular disease (also known as peripheral artery disease or PAD) and adult congenital heart defects.
Scripps was the first US health system to remove plaque from a patient’s coronary arteries with minimally-invasive instruments and techniques. Scripps was also the first in San Diego to pioneer unique catheter-based treatments for complex peripheral arterial disease.
Our cardiologists have also been pivotal in the launch of breakthrough procedures such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and the invention of one of the world’s first coronary stents.
Cardiac catheterization is the basis of interventional cardiology procedures and performed with the aid of digital imaging. Scripps has more than a dozen world-class catheterization labs across San Diego County, where specialists provide a range of diagnostic procedures and treatment services:
- Cardiac catheterization to diagnose or treat certain heart conditions through the insertion of a thin flexible tube into arteries of the leg or wrist. A tiny wire is passed through the catheter tube to access the heart and arteries to remove plaque and fatty deposits, repair defects, insert a balloon, stent or implant an artificial heart valve.
- Angioplasty and stent placement for the heart (also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI) to open narrowed or blocked arteries through the placement of stents (tiny mesh tubular support devices) to restore healthy blood flow to the heart. A Scripps Clinic cardiologist co-invented the world’s first FDA-approved coronary stent.
- Carotid angioplasty and stenting (also known as CAS) to open narrowed or blocked carotid arteries in the neck through placement of stents.
- Angioplasty and stent placement for peripheral arteries to open narrowed or blocked arteries of the legs through placement of stents.
- Rotational atherectomy to remove calcified lesions from arteries, using a catheter and a miniature device called a Rotablator.
- Percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty, which is the catheter insertion and placement of a miniature balloon to open a narrowed or blocked heart valve.
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which is the catheter-based procedure to replace an aortic valve without removing the damaged valve. Also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), this procedure is an alternative to open-heart surgery for high-risk patients.
- Adult heart structural procedures, which treat congenital heart defects such as aortic valve stenosis (narrowing of the valve opening), atrial septal defect (hole in the wall separating the heart’s two upper chambers), ventricular septal defect (hole in the wall separating the heart’s two lower chambers), or pulmonary valve stenosis and other adult congenital heart defects.
- Coronary angiogram to provide digital images for physicians to see the heart’s blood vessels and determine if there is normal flow or any blockage to arteries.
- Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), which uses sound waves to create images for physicians to evaluate a heart’s arteries.
Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is an outpatient procedure that has been proven effective for some patients with angina and congestive heart failure.
Scripps physicians and scientists are actively working to bring the most advanced treatments to patients with heart conditions.
To learn if you are a candidate for an open clinical trial for new heart therapies or interventional cardiology procedures, please ask your cardiologist.
Interventional cardiology is available at the following Scripps Health locations in San Diego County: