Interventional Cardiology Program
Patients who need the help of an interventional cardiologist for the first time tend to be anxious – and understandably so. At the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute (JOHVI), you can take comfort in the fact that, while this may be your first time in a cath lab, it’s not ours. Our internationally renowned team is one of the largest and most experienced in the country, performing nearly 4,000 procedures in the last year alone. We work night and day, not only to extend lives but to improve the quality of life for patients in the Gulf South and beyond. You couldn’t be in better hands.
Why Ochsner for Interventional Cardiology?
Ochsner is home to one of the most prestigious and passionate groups of interventionalists in the country. Our team is comprised of national leaders from both the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions (SCAI).
As one of the largest academically-accredited interventional coronary and peripheral vascular training programs in the nation, Ochsner interventionalists are dedicated to the non-surgical treatment and prevention of heart attack, stroke and limb loss.
Our award-winning team works together to develop innovative strategies to treat:
- Coronary heart disease (blockages of the heart’s arteries), including treating people who have been told they have no options
- Renal artery stenosis and renovascular hypertension (when atherosclerosis clogs up the arteries leading to the kidneys)
- Chronic mesenteric ischemia (when blood can’t flow adequately through the arteries to the intestines)
- Peripheral arterial disease (when narrowing arteries obstruct blood flow to the limbs)
A national leader in acute stroke prevention, Ochsner offers deep expertise in:
- Carotid stents (to remove artery-clogging plaque in the neck)
- Cerebrovascular disease interventions (to open up arteries affecting blood flow to the brain)
In addition, we are a regional leader in:
- Valvuloplasty, a non-surgical procedure that can be used to open a heart valve that has narrowed
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive approach to implant the heart valves in patients with aortic stenosis
- Limb salvage, offering the latest vascular rescue therapies for patients with severe ischemia or complex wounds
Interventional Cardiology Program Highlights
- The latest technology, including atherectomy devices, used to dislodge severely calcified blockages
- Innovative testing techniques, such as the Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) used to determine how much blood flow is being restricted by a blockage
- The latest intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) technology, used to gather views inside the arteries to determine the presence and severity of any blockages
- Expertise for high-risk angioplasty, including unprotected left main vessel intervention (this vessel supplies 75% of the blood to the heart) and chronic total occlusions (CTOs), a complete or almost complete blockage of a coronary artery
- Catheter-directed therapies for venous diseases, including clots, varicose veins and pulmonary emboli, blockages in the pulmonary artery of the lung
- Low-profile endografts (aortic stent grafts) for treating aneurysmal disease, a progressive process through which arteries become progressively enlarged
- Below-the-knee endovascular procedures for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) with non-healing wounds to avoid the need for amputation
- MitraClip for patients with severe leakage of the mitral valve
- Melody valve for pediatric and adult patients
- Research protocols for peripheral and coronary diseases
- Therapy for advanced heart failure with percutaneous devices
In partnership with Ochsner’s electrophysiology team, we also offer implantation of the WATCHMAN™ LAAC (left atrial appendage close) Device, to help prevent strokes in atrial fibrillation patients looking to avoid long-term warfarin therapy. Our integrated teams also perform the LARIAT™ procedure, an innovative way to treat AFib patients who are unable to take blood thinners.
Research and Clinical Trials
Referring physicians and patients requiring second opinions seek out Ochsner not just because our team offers the latest treatments, but because of our dedication to research and our current participation in approximately 90 clinical trials. For the last 25 years, our interventional cardiology team has been on the cutting edge of what’s next.
Currently, we’re one of just a handful of U.S. centers participating in the ABSORB Trial. We are also one of the leading centers when it comes to implementing innovative treatments for hypertension which can be found in our CALM and RADIANCE trials.
Because of our excellent history of conducting research, we are able to provide our patients with a wide array of treatment options. Click on the link below to learn more about these and other exciting programs.
Interventional Cardiology Procedures Offered
Interventional cardiology does not require invasive surgery. It is a non-surgical option, which uses catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases. Invasive cardiology uses invasive surgical procedures to treat heart conditions, which includes angioplasty and stenting.
- Brachytherapy – For patients with restenosis, blockage within previously placed heart stents intracoronary brachytherapy significantly improves the chance of keeping these arteries open. Ochsner is the only place in the Gulf South offering this treatment.
- Percutaneous Revascularization of Chronic Total Occlusions – This procedure can help patients avoid traditional bypass surgery for removal of blockages. Using the most advanced interventional technology, this procedure can offer relief of angina and improved heart function.
- Atherectomy – Patients with heavily calcified lesions and lesions that will not completely dilate with balloon angioplasty are at risk for stent thrombosis. This catheter-based procedure successfully addresses these complex lesions.
- Tandem Heart and Impella –These tiny heart pumps can be used temporarily to assist in recovery of heart function, or to support patients wuth weak heart muscle through other procedures, including angioplasty which may otherwise be too high risk.
- Impella Heart Pump - The Impella heart pump temporarily takes over the pumping function of the heart, allowing the heart to rest and recover. It pulls blood from the left ventricle through an inlet area near the tip and expels blood from the catheter into the ascending aorta. Learn more.
- Paravalvular Leak Repair – While rare, a paravalvular or paraprosthetic leak (PVL) is a complication associated with the implantation of a prosthetic heart valve. In such cases, catheter-based occlusion devices can offer a nonsurgical, minimally invasive treatment for this condition.
- TAVR – Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a superior treatment for patients with aortic stenosis who are at high risk for surgery. This minimally invasive approach makes it possible to successfully implant the heart valves in older patients or patients too ill to undergo surgery. Our TAVR program is recognized as having one of the shortest length of stays in the United States. What’s more, our patients experience fewer respiratory complications compared to patients in other hospitals in the country.
- Mitraclip – Patients with mitral regurgitation who are at high risk for surgery benefit from the MitraClip procedure, a minimally invasive way to improve valve closure and reduce the backflow of blood. The procedure minimizes discomfort, improves recovery and reduces hospitalizations for heart failure.
- Left Atrial Appendage Treatment – If you have AFib, your doctor may recommend a procedure to seal off your left atrial appendage, a small sac in the wall of the top left chamber of your heart where blood collects and can form stroke-forming clots. This minimally invasive procedure can eliminate the need to take blood-thinning medication.
- Congenital Heart Defect Treatment – Patients with congenital defects, including atrial septal defects (ASDs), patent foramen ovale (PFO), and ventricular septal defect (VSD), can be at risk for stroke as well as damage to their heart and lungs. We are able to successfully treat such anomalies using advanced minimally invasive techniques that effectively close holes in the heart and reduce the risk of infection in the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves.
- Alcohol Septal Ablation – Patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy suffer from chest pain and shortness of breath as blood flow through the outflow tract is restricted by the abnormally thickened septum. We can reduce the proportion of tissue blocking the blood flow through a minimally invasive procedure called alcohol septal ablation. This is a good option for patients who are older or have advanced medical conditions that preclude open surgery.