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Why choose UCLA Health for interventional cardiology?
The UCLA Health interventional cardiology team is at the forefront of innovative care. We are committed to delivering world-class medicine. Our aim is to improve the health of our patients individually and our community as a whole.
Patients who choose UCLA Health for interventional cardiology benefit from:
Advanced, lifesaving treatment: Within the UCLA Health system, we have multiple catheterization laboratories (cath labs) that offer advanced diagnostics and treatments. We even have a 24/7 cath lab that provides emergency, lifesaving treatment.
Full scope of services: We offer the full range of testing and treatment options, including minimally invasive techniques to diagnose and repair heart valve and blood vessel problems. This approach typically results in a quick recovery, less pain and an optimal outcome.
Care from clinical leaders: Our interventional cardiologists participate in and lead research trials that help us improve care. We also train interventional cardiology fellows, many of whom go on to become leaders in their respective fields. We educate ourselves on the most advanced techniques so we can offer patients the latest technologies and treatments.
Our areas of care
Interventional cardiologists perform minimally invasive procedures to treat a range of heart and vascular conditions, including:
Coronary artery disease (CAD)
We are national leaders in treating the entire spectrum of cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and many heart conditions arise from blocked blood vessels.
We treat patients who have atherosclerosis, chest pain (angina) and heart attacks. These problems occur when fatty deposits called plaque build up in the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart (coronary arteries). As the arteries become clogged, blood flow to the heart decreases.
Complete Revascularization in High-Risk Indicated Patients Program(CHIP):
Revascularization is the process of opening blocked coronary arteries to restore blood flow to the heart. If multiple arteries are blocked, doctors may recommend coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
But some patients are too medically fragile to undergo this major surgery. Through the CHIP program, we evaluate high-risk patients with complex coronary artery disease and heart failure. A team of cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists and heart failure and mechanical circulatory specialists work together to assess the best options for each patient. We offer a full range of therapies for patients with even the most complex conditions.
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a rare disease in which a tear occurs in one of the heart’s artery walls. SCAD can lead to a heart attack and is about 10 times more common in women than in men.
UCLA Health specialists offer a range of treatments for SCAD. We may prescribe medications or perform a procedure to place a stent in the coronary artery (angioplasty and stenting). Our doctors offer long-term follow-up and monitoring to ensure optimal outcomes.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
Plaque can build up in arteries outside the heart. This condition is called peripheral artery disease, and it affects more than 3 million people a year. PAD is most common in the leg arteries, reducing blood flow to the legs.
Our experts are board certified in cardiology, interventional cardiology, vascular imaging and endovascular (minimally invasive) procedures. We detect and treat all types of blood circulation problems. Our doctors work together with other specialists such as interventional vascular radiologists and vascular surgeons to offer comprehensive care.
Structural heart problems
Our interventional cardiologists can repair many structural heart problems using minimally invasive procedures. They often work alongside doctors at the Ahmanson/UCLA Health Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center. Many of our doctors design, develop and improve the minimally invasive techniques used to treat structural heart conditions.
Adult congenital heart disease (ACHD)
Our interventional cardiologists work closely with the specialists in the Ahmanson/UCLA Health Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center to treat patients with congenital heart disease.
This center is a national and international care center, the first and largest facility of its kind in the United States. Our doctors have special training in adult congenital heart disease, specializing in echocardiography, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology and more.
Conditions interventional cardiologists treat
We use interventional cardiology services to treat a range of conditions, including:
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease is progressive. As fatty deposits build up on the artery walls, you may experience:
Atherosclerosis: Narrowing of the arteries that slows blood flow to the heart
Chronic total occlusion: Complete blockage of one or more of the arteries that carry blood to the heart (coronary arteries)
Heart attack (myocardial infarction): A sudden, life-threatening interruption of blood flow to the heart
Structural heart disease
Many structural heart problems are present at birth (congenital), while others develop later in life. Abnormalities can occur in various parts of the heart, including the four heart valves. Some of the most common problems we treat include:
Atrial septal defect: A hole in the wall (septum) that separates the two upper heart chambers (atria)
Aortic valve stenosis: Narrowing in the valve that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body (aortic valve)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: A disease in which the heart muscle thickens (hypertrophies), often in the wall that separates the lower two heart chambers (ventricles)
Mitral valve regurgitation: When the valve that allows blood to flow out of the heart (mitral valve) doesn’t close properly, leading to blood leaking backward into the heart
Treatments we offer
Our interventional cardiologists use a range of advanced techniques to treat heart valve and blood vessel problems. Treatments include:
Coronary artery disease treatment
Our interventional cardiologists perform minimally invasive procedures through a catheter to remove plaque and open blocked arteries. Procedures include:
Angioplasty and stenting: Our interventional cardiologists offer balloon angioplasty for partially blocked arteries. The balloon widens the artery so we can place a small tube (stent) to hold it open. We also use a complex version of this procedure to treat totally blocked arteries, called chronic total occlusions (CTOs). A CTO occurs when a coronary artery is completely blocked for three months or longer, which means that blood can’t flow to the heart. Angioplasty and stenting significantly improve the long-term success of treatment. Not every center has the expert surgeons and special equipment to perform this procedure.
Atherectomy: Cardiologists use this procedure to remove hardened plaque from an artery. Hardened plaque usually can’t be opened with balloon angioplasty. We insert a catheter through an artery in the upper thigh or groin and deliver contrast dye to view blockages in the coronary arteries. The catheter has a laser or small blade on its tip that dissolves or scrapes away plaque to restore blood flow.
Structural heart condition treatment
We use minimally invasive techniques to treat structural heart problems. Our structural intervention services include:
Left atrial appendage (LAA) closure: Patients with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation (AFib) have a high risk of forming blood clots that cause a stroke. Up to 90% of these blood clots come from a small portion of the heart called the left atrial appendage. Our interventional cardiologists can place a small device to close the LAA, significantly lowering stroke risk. More than nine in 10 patients stop taking blood thinners after receiving this treatment.
MitraClip®: The MitraClip is a small device we attach to the mitral valve. It treats a condition in which the mitral valve doesn’t open and close properly (mitral valve regurgitation). The MitraClip is a breakthrough nonsurgical treatment for those who are not candidates for open heart surgery. Patients who come to UCLA Health for this procedure can see the entire mitral valve repair team in one convenient location during one visit.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR): TAVR is a treatment for patients with a narrowed aortic valve (aortic stenosis) who are not candidates for open surgery. During TAVR, surgeons replace a damaged aortic valve using a minimally invasive catheter technique. UCLA Health is among the nation’s leaders in TAVR outcomes. We organize conferences and seminars to teach best practices to physicians around the country and the globe.
Our interventional cardiologists provide exceptional clinical care. They also train new physicians and participate in research to advance treatment options.