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Cardiac Catheterization

At UnityPoint Health – Trinity, our experts work to keep heart problems from slowing you down. We use cardiac catheterization to diagnose and treat many issues, including blocked arteries and valve disease.

Our deep experience with this minimally invasive technique helps you achieve excellent results. Many people go home the same day and get back to their regular activities after a short recovery.

What Is Cardiac Catheterization?

Catheterization is also known as heart catheterization. It uses thin, flexible tubes and real-time imaging to care for certain heart problems. We insert catheters through a small incision in your groin or wrist and advance them through a blood vessel to the heart.

Sophisticated instruments at the catheter tip enable us to deliver a broad range of services that include:

  • Preventive therapies: We detect early signs of heart disease and often treat them in the same procedure, lowering your heart attack risk.
  • Emergency care: If you are having a heart attack, we quickly pinpoint the source and deliver lifesaving care that restores blood flow.

Heart Catheterization at Trinity: Why Choose Us?

At Trinity Heart Center, you receive services from cardiologists specializing in catheter-based techniques (interventional cardiology). Many interventional cardiologists completed additional training through fellowships. Our doctors hold themselves to high care standards so that you can count on us for safe, personalized care.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Innovative procedures: Trinity is often among the first places in the Quad Cities to offer new catheterization procedures. Our doctors have experience treating a high volume of people, and research has found that more experienced teams deliver procedures with fewer complications.
    • For valve disease, our offerings include transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
    • We offer the WATCHMAN device for Afib that does not respond to medications.
    • Patients with heart failure who stop breathing while sleeping (sleep apnea) may benefit from the remede® System. An implantable device delivers gentle electrical pulses to stimulate nerves that help you breathe.  
  • Modern procedure rooms: You undergo heart catheterization in renovated procedure rooms with advanced equipment for precise care. Our hybrid suite, one of few of its kind in the Quad Cities, also has surgical equipment. If a high-risk catheterization procedure doesn't go as planned, surgeons can immediately step in.
  • Comfortable experience: Before and after catheterization, you stay in a unit dedicated to heart care. This area has spacious, private rooms that feel like home. Specially trained cardiac nurses pay careful attention to your needs. They seek to minimize discomfort and keep your recovery moving forward.   

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Following a qualifying heart event or procedure, you may need cardiac rehabilitation. Our nationally recognized program has a successful track record of helping people adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle. Completing the program allows you to feel your best while lowering the risk of needing other procedures. Learn more about cardiac rehabilitation.

Interventional Cardiology Procedures We Perform

Trinity offers a broad range of catheterization procedures, such as:

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair

Our surgeons repair a weak spot (aneurysm) in the body's largest artery, the aorta. In an unrepaired aneurysm, the force of blood flow causes the aneurysm to balloon outward. Eventually, the aneurysm may rupture, causing life-threatening complications. We strengthen the weak spot with a stent, an implantable mesh device that reinforces aorta walls.

Arrhythmia treatments

We provide surgical options for people who have an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), when medications are not successful in controlling it. Procedures we offer include:

  • Ablation: Catheters deliver freezing-cold gas to disrupt abnormal areas in the heart's electrical system and eliminate rhythm problems. 
  • Cardiac pacing: We temporarily place wires in the heart to establish a normal rhythm. The wires connect to a device that uses an electrical current to get rid of the arrhythmia. After the procedure is complete, we remove the wires.
  • WATCHMAN™ device: This implantable device is for a specific type of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation (AFib), that does not respond to medications. It helps maintain a normal rhythm and lowers the risk of complications, like stroke. Read more about the WATCHMAN device.

Diagnostic catheterization

Interventional cardiologists use diagnostic catheterization to learn more about your heart structures and function. This information helps us diagnose problems and recommend the right treatments for you.

We evaluate:

  • Heart muscle strength and pumping action
  • Blood vessels near the heart and whether there are blockages
  • Pressure and oxygen levels within sections (chambers) of the heart
  • Valves and whether they are fully opening and closing

Coronary angioplasty

If you have coronary artery disease (narrowing in the heart's blood vessels), angioplasty can restore blood flow.

Coronary angioplasty procedures we offer include:

  • Atherectomy: A tiny device carefully cuts away buildups of fatty substances (plaque) responsible for the blockage.
  • Balloon angioplasty: We inflate a small balloon at the catheter tip to push blockages against the artery walls, clearing the way for improved blood flow.
  • Atherectomy: Interventional cardiologists remove plaques using focused beams of high-energy light.

Coronary artery stent placement

Following angioplasty, a stent prevents a diseased artery from narrowing again. A stent is a tiny mesh tube that expands to support the artery walls. Stents often have medication in them to prevent scarring that can cause blockages. 

TAVR

If aortic valve stenosis keeps your heart valve from working as it should, you might be a candidate for TAVR. Instead of open surgery, this innovative treatment uses catheter-based techniques to install a replacement valve that works as it should.

Valvuloplasty

We widen narrowed valves or arteries by inserting a tiny collapsed balloon into the passage. Then cardiologists expand the balloon inside your blood vessel, pushing abnormal tissue out of the way.

Contact Us

Connect with a member of our cardiovascular team by calling us at 309-779-5340.