the majority of heart procedures don’t involve open surgery or long
recoveries. In fact, many Lankenau Heart Institute patients are treated
on an outpatient basis using cardiac catheterization. During this
minimally invasive approach, our interventional cardiologists insert a
long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel and thread it
to the heart. Through the catheter, they can diagnose and treat such
medical conditions as heart
attack and diseases of the blood vessels in the legs (peripheral
Team Led by board certified doctors,
the interventional cardiology team consistently applies the latest
interventional approaches to achieve exceptional outcomes for its
Approach Patients receive their
treatment in our state-of-the-art catheterization lab. Here, our
compassionate, knowledgeable team uses the latest catheterization
technology to achieve superior outcomes.
Using a catheter-based approach, our interventional cardiologists open
blocked blood vessels and place tiny metallic coils – known as stents –
within the vessel to keep it open. The Lankenau Heart Institute
often combines stenting with minimally
invasive coronary artery bypass surgery to treat blocked vessels.
This approach decreases overall trauma to the body by eliminating the
need for open surgery.
The benefits of catheter-based treatment includes:
Minimal pain and discomfort
Reduced risk of infection
Minimal blood loss and fewer transfusions
Can be performed on an outpatient basis
Faster recovery time
Maintained strength and independence
Quicker return to normal activities
Research & Clinical TrialsResearch
is vital to advancing the care of patients with heart disease and
Lankenau Heart Institute specialists participate regularly in prominent
clinical trials of new medical therapies.
Points of Differentiation The
Lankenau Heart Institute’s interventional cardiologists have a
long-standing reputation of excellence in the area of cardiac
catheterization. The team performs more than 2,000 cardiac
catheterizations annually – this includes both diagnostic studies and
Distinguishing features of Lankenau Heart Institute’s interventional
cardiology services include:
More than 70 percent of all catheterizations are
performed through the radial artery (located in the
wrist). This approach is beneficial to patients because
the risk of internal bleeding – commonly associated with
the femoral artery – is minimized and external bleeding
can be easily compressed. Furthermore, there is no
requirement for the patient to remain immobile. This
makes the procedure more comfortable, particularly for
patients with back problems.
The Lankenau Heart Institute’s active involvement in
prominent national clinical studies – such as the
Symplicity trial for severe hypertension – ensures that
patients have access to the latest treatment approaches
for their condition.
Our commitment to our patients' comfort and safety has led us to perform
the majority of our cases using the radial artery. Advantages to this
approach include the following:
The radial artery’s proximity to the skin’s surface
makes the initial needle puncture simple and straight
forward. For the same reason, when the procedure is
completed, a short compression of the radial artery can
stop the bleeding; even in cases when the patient has
received blood thinners.
Patients treated using this approach leave the
catheterization lab and are able to sit up and walk
almost immediately. Some are even discharged without
having to spend the night. This is in contrast to the
femoral approach which requires the patient lie flat and
still for four to six hours following the procedure to
allow bleeding to stop.
Unlike the femoral artery, the radial artery is not
located close to a major nerve making it less likely
that nerve damage will be sustained during the
Dr. Timothy Shapiro performs 90 percent of cardiac
catheterizations using the radial artery. On average, 70
percent of cardiac catheterizations at Lankenau are
performed using this approach.
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.