Heart & Vascular Specialists of Oklahoma
Rakesh Shrivastava MD, FACC • Venkat Rajaram MD, MS
The Interventional Cardiologists at Oklahoma Heart and Vascular are leaders in the use of catheter-based techniques to open plaque-filled vessels in patients with coronary artery disease. Even patients with severe blockages can reap the benefits of interventional procedures. Physicians here can drastically reduce the risks created by blood clots or tissue dislodged during treatment by using filters to trap clots, devices that snare tissue debris, and powerful new anti-platelet medications. The experience behind being an interventional specialist means our doctors are not only looking to treat your existing problem, but are looking at how to prevent future problems from occurring.
Transradial Catheterization Offers Advantages
Angiography is most commonly performed by threading the catheter through the femoral artery in the groin. The experts at Oklahoma Heart and Vascular also offer transradial catheterization, a technique where the catheter is introduced through an artery in the wrist. While many doctors are not skilled in Transradial Catheterization, we find that the benefits are high for the right patient. Patients are often back on their feet immediately after their procedure, unlike traditional femoral catheterization that requires the patient to stay in bed for several hours. By using an entry in the wrist, the patient is much less likely to experience excessive bleeding.
Interventional cardiologists have been successfully performing angioplasties for many years. A balloon angioplasty, also called a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), involves the use of a thin tube (catheter) that is inserted into a blocked or narrowed artery. The catheter has a tiny balloon on its tip that is inflated to push plaque against the artery's walls to widen the path for blood flow.
We often use small steel mesh tubes (Stents) that can be placed inside an artery during an angioplasty procedure. These stents are used to hold the arteries open to increase blood flow. Stents are used in more than 70% of angioplasty procedures.
We also offer a special drug-coated (drug eluting) stent. This remarkable stent dramatically reduces the scar tissue inside the stent, and thereby reduce the chance of narrowing in the artery. This condition, called Restenosis, is a very common problem that often results in the need for repeat angioplasty treatments or coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
When the need to have plaque removed inside an artery, the procedure is called an Atherectomy. We use different methods to remove the plaque. A rotational atherectomy, uses of a special burr at the tip of a catheter that rotates to trim away. Directional atherectomy, uses a small cutting device that is focused on the walls of the artery to cut the plaque away.