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Interventional Cardiology Services

A blocked artery often means trouble. Arteries transport oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Should an artery become blocked — usually by a buildup of a waxy, fatty substance called plaque — that can lead to other parts of the body being deprived of the oxygen the blood carries.

Without oxygen, wounds on the legs and arms have difficulty healing. Without blood, the muscles that form the heart begin to die. Without blood, the brain cannot work.

From the risk of amputation to relief for heart attacks to preventing strokes, the interventional cardiology team at Tanner Heart Care is focused on leading-edge, evidence-based clinical care and delivering the best possible outcome for patients.

Tanner offers lifesaving interventional cardiology services at two regional locations — Tanner Medical Center/ Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica — including angioplasty and stenting services.

Angioplasty is used to reopen an area where an artery is blocked. An interventional cardiologist can clear the blockage to allow blood to flow better by using a tube called a catheter that has an inflatable, small, sausage-shaped balloon at its tip. Angioplasty is much less invasive than surgery. The patient will receive a relaxing medicine (sedative) through an intravenous line (“IV”), and will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area — usually the groin or arm — where the catheter will be inserted.

By using X-ray images, the interventional cardiologist can look at the size of the coronary artery and choose the appropriate type of balloon catheter and wire. The guide wire is an extremely thin wire with a flexible tip. During angioplasty, the wire is inserted through the catheter and into the artery. The tip of the wire is then guided across the blockage and beyond it. The wire serves as a guide for the catheter and balloon, which is navigated and positioned across the blockage, where the balloon is inflated to open the blockage and restore blood flow.

The same technique is used for stenting. A stent is a small tube made of wire mesh, which is left
in the artery to keep the artery open and improve blood flow.

Angioplasty and stenting can also be used to treat other vascular conditions, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Minutes Are Muscle

Choosing a cardiac provider close to home can save more than gas — it can save your life.

When you experience the symptoms of a heart attack — pain and pressure in the chest, difficulty breathing, nausea and more — it’s essential to seek care right away. It’s essential that blood flow be restored to the heart as quickly as possible.

That’s why Tanner offers angioplasty at two regional locations — Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica. Additional locations means more residents are close to a facility that can offer angioplasty to treat heart attacks and save heart muscle.

If you’re already a Tanner patient, the patient care team at your local hospital will have your medical history at their fingertips — including current medications, allergies and complicating conditions, such as chronic diseases and prior history of heart attack.

That means faster treatment for a heart attack and a better chance to save the heart muscle that’s otherwise lost if treatment is delayed.

At Tanner, our “door-to-balloon” times — the time from when a patient arrives at the hospital having a heart attack until the blocked artery is cleared with angioplasty — are better than the national average and the American College of Cardiology’s guidelines.

Learn more about Tanner’s lifesaving emergency heart care.

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