What is interventional cardiology?

Interventional cardiology deals specifically with the catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases.

Interventional cardiology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on unclogging blocked arteries using minimally invasive tools and techniques to restore blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body. Interventional cardiologists treat heart attack, stroke and blockages to the kidneys and legs without open surgery.

Instead, interventional cardiologists use catheters to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions. Catheters are thin, flexible tubes that can be inserted through a small puncture site in the skin and threaded through the blood vessel to a blockage in an artery. Specialized balloon angioplasty catheters are designed to expand and push blockages against artery walls to reopen the artery for blood flow. These catheters can also be used to place stents - metal, mesh tubes that act as scaffolding to prop a cleared artery open—and for diagnostic tests.

Interventional cardiology, as a less invasive treatment option than cardiac bypass graft surgery, has truly changed the entire field of coronary and valvular heart disease treatment.

Interventional cardiology refers to various non-surgical procedures for treating cardiovascular disease. Interventional cardiologists use catheters—thin, flexible tubes—to get inside blood vessels for diagnostic tests or to repair damaged vessels or other heart structures, often avoiding the need for surgery.

Interventional cardiology refers to proactively repairing damage to the heart.

Dr. Nassir A. Azimi, MD
Interventional Cardiologist

Interventional cardiology is the field of medicine that applies to treating patients with interventional (typically transcatheter) treatments, e.g., angioplasty, stent thrombectomy of the coronary arteries, placement of support such as intraoartic baloon pumps, treating valves with valvuloplasty (ballon) or placement of new aortic valves using catheters.

Dr. Samin K. Sharma, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Interventional cardiology is a subspecialty of cardiology, typically using catheterization to diagnose disease. In this video, Dr. Samin Sharma, MD, a leading cardiologist explains what is typically involved with interventional cardiology.


Continue Learning about Heart Disease

Improve Endothelial Function with an Oatmeal Breakfast
Improve Endothelial Function with an Oatmeal Breakfast
Regularly eating oatmeal appears to boost people's endothelial function. That's a fancy way of describing their arteries' all-important ability to dil...
Read More
Can depression increase my risk of dying from heart disease?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
What many do not know is that depression serves as a risk factor for heart disease. Unfortunately, t...
More Answers
The Ultimate Guide to Reversing Heart Disease
The Ultimate Guide to Reversing Heart DiseaseThe Ultimate Guide to Reversing Heart DiseaseThe Ultimate Guide to Reversing Heart DiseaseThe Ultimate Guide to Reversing Heart Disease
Stop the leading cause of death in its tracks with simple lifestyle changes.
Start Slideshow
What is Metabolic Syndrome and How Does It Raise My Heart Disease Risk?
What is Metabolic Syndrome and How Does It Raise My Heart Disease Risk?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.