The Cardiovascular Medicine Department at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is at the forefront in the treatment of heart disease using Interventional Cardiology methods. Interventional cardiology procedures are less invasive than traditional open heart surgery, and in many cases they offer new hope for people who cannot undergo major heart surgery.
Interventional cardiology is a branch of medicine that treats heart disorders with thin tubes called catheters that are threaded through blood vessels to the sites of a blockage or an area of disease. It also involves the placement of state-of-the-art stents to keep vessels open, as well medical devices to treat heart valve disorders.
Lahey specialists have contributed greatly to the refinement of these minimally invasive techniques. Lahey is the second-busiest center in New England in performing a leading-edge treatment called Transcatheter Aortic Value Replacement (TAVR).
Other types of Interventional Cardiology procedures performed by Lahey specialists include:
- Radial artery catheterization, in which the catheter is threaded through the radial artery in the wrist rather than the femoral artery in the groin, which benefits patients at a higher risk of bleeding and allows patient to sit up immediately after the procedure rather than have to lie flat for several hours
- Balloon Angioplasty, in which a tiny balloon is threaded through the catheter to open blockages in the coronary arteries and restore blood flow to the heart
- Stent placement, in which a mesh device is implanted into an artery to hold it open
- Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) and Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Closures, to treat holes in the wall (septum) between the heart’s left and right upper chambers (atria)
- Valvuloplasty, which uses balloon angioplasty to dilate diseased heart valves in order to improve blood flow between the heart chambers.
- TAVR: Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Therapy, TAVR is a minimally invasive alternative therapy to standard Aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis (narrowed heart valve) that permits treatment of high risk and inoperative patients with excellent outcomes and shorter hospital stays. Recent studies have expanded this technique to intermediate risk patients, thereby revolutionizing the treatment of aortic valve disease. TAVR can frequently be performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, instead of the operating room, allowing for a shorter hospital stay and more convenience for patients and their families.
- Ventricular Support for Shock: Patients who are critically ill secondary to a large myocardial infarction (heart attack) or severe congestive heart failure may benefit from this catheter based therapy that allows the doctor to support the pumping function of the right and/or left side of the heart.
- Catheter treatments for Pulmonary Embolism and severe Deep Vein Thrombosis: New treatments for clotting disorders are offered at Lahey as a part a comprehensive treatment of vascular disease. Physicians in the catheterization laboratory employ novel techniques to remove and dissolve life-threatening clots from the venous system and pulmonary (lung) arteries.
Contributing To Innovation In Interventional Cardiology
Dr. Thomas Piemonte: Lahey cardiovascular medicine specialist Thomas Piemonte, MD, has partnered with Cleveland Clinic cardiothoracic surgeons to develop an experimental intravalvular balloon device called Mitra-Spacer™, to treat patients with a condition called mitral regurgitation who are not candidates for surgical treatment. This device is currently in clinical trials.
Dr. Chris Pyne is a pioneering interventional cardiologist with a national reputation in radial artery catheterization. He has led the effort to ensure that Lahey remains in the forefront among cath labs in the country. Our laboratory performs a higher percentage of radial catheterizations than any other cath lab in New England. Dr. Pyne has also been a champion of radiation safety by introducing and promoting radiation awareness and radiation safety.
Dr. Sergio Waxman, the Associate Director of the Cath Lab,is a pioneer in vascular imaging of the coronary arteries. His work with advanced intra-vascular imaging, using light and ultrasound, is internationally recognized. As head of interventional cardiovascular research, he has been the principal investigator in multiple groundbreaking trials.
Dr. Frederic S. Resnic, Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular medicine and co-director of the Lahey Health Comparative Effectiveness Research Institute (CERI). Dr. Resnic directs CERI’s efforts in utilizing real-world clinical data to evaluate the impact of alternative treatments used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. His particular research focus is on the safety of medical devices, and has been the recipient of numerous Federal grants to study the performance of implantable medical devices, and their safety over time.
Meet The Interventional Cardiology Team
- Thomas Piemonte MD, Medical Director Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories
- Sergio Waxman MD, MBA, Associate Director of Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Program director for Interventional Cardiology
- Frederic S. Resnic, MD, Chair, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
- Christopher Pyne, MD
- Michael Levy, MD, Chief, Vascular Medicine
- Guatam Gadey, MD
- Paul Boffetti, MD
Lahey offers a Fellowship Program in Interventional Cardiology.