Today, 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 artery disease).
Our Interventional Cardiology Team
Led by board certified doctors, the interventional cardiology team
consistently applies the latest interventional approaches to achieve
exceptional outcomes for its patients.
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
The Choice for Interventional Cardiology
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 procedure.
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
Research & Clinical Trials
Research is vital to advancing the
care of patients with heart disease and Lankenau Heart Institute
specialists participate regularly in prominent clinical trials of new
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.