Around the same time Robert Campbell, M.D., began his fellowship and started working with Mount Auburn Hospital 25 years ago, interventional cardiology was just gaining momentum. Since then, Dr. Campbell has seen the field evolve to give cardiac patients more options than ever before.
“We’ve had monumental developments and improvements in interventional cardiology since I began,” says Dr. Campbell, director of the cardiac catheterization lab. “When interventional cardiology began, there was a very small patient population who were candidates for the procedures. Today, many more patients are able to take advantage of these minimally invasive procedures.”
In fact, these procedures have expanded the patient population so greatly that Dr. Campbell says he recently put a stent in 93-year-old man who wanted to be relieved of his chest pain. The patient wouldn’t have even been given this option until recent years.
What is interventional cardiology?
Interventional cardiology is a specialization in cardiology that deals with diagnosing and treating heart diseases through minimally invasive procedures.
If a person is having symptoms of heart damage, such as chest pressure, he or she may be referred to an interventional cardiologist to determine the cause. During this diagnostic catheterization, the doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube into the femoral artery in the thigh or the radial artery in the wrist and advances it through the artery to the heart. X-rays are taken to show if there are any blockages or narrowing in the arteries.
“The vast majority of interventional cardiology centers around treating coronary artery disease (CAD),” says Dr. Campbell. “Depending on the severity of the blockage or the number of blockages, your treatment can range from medication to bypass surgery. If the patient is a candidate for interventional cardiology, we are able to both diagnose and treat the disease by putting a stent in the blocked coronary artery through a catheter.”
The advancements in interventional cardiology are incredible and Dr. Campbell expects we will see several exciting, new developments within the next five years. For example, for severe narrowing in the aortic valve, the only option is surgery, yet not everyone is a candidate. Today, trials are underway using minimally invasive techniques that will give these patients another option.
Award winning cardiac care
Mount Auburn Hospital’s interventional cardiology has received the 2012 HealthGrades® Coronary Interventional Excellence Award™, which recognizes the hospital for high quality, comprehensive heart care services.
HealthGrades awards recognize hospitals that provide consistent high-quality care in certain practice areas, such as cardiac services. Dr. Campbell credits the entire interventional cardiology team for the success of both their emergency and non-emergency coronary interventions.
“It takes everyone—interventional cardiologists, cardiologists, nurses, techs, and emergency room personnel—to get the amazing results we have,” he says. “We have an extremely experienced and passionate staff who get great satisfaction from the ripple effect we have in the community—one life saved has an incredible impact on everyone in that person’s life.”
Find a primary care physician that can help you keep your heart strong. Call 617-499-5094.