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Interventional Cardiology

Interventional cardiology refers to non-surgical procedures used to treat coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease. These procedures are performed in Baystate’s state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratory.

You may benefit from interventional cardiology if you have a condition such as:

Baystate Medical Center has the only full service interventional cardiac catheterization laboratory in western Massachusetts. As the region’s tertiary care facility for interventional cardiology, we perform approximately 1,300 heart interventions annually.

Treatment Options

Our laboratories are open for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and use the latest technology to bring you the following interventional cardiology treatment options.

Cardiac Catheterization (Angiogram)

Cardiac catheterization provides your doctor with information about your heart’s arteries (blood vessels), valves, blood flow, and pumping action.

Your doctor inserts a very thin tube called a catheter into your affected artery (usually through your groin area) and directs it through the artery into your aorta, then into your heart.

An angiogram is a test in which a dye is injected into a blood vessel to determine if it is narrowed or blocked.

Depending upon your condition, we can perform this test as an outpatient procedure, or it may require a brief admission to the hospital.

The test takes approximately 30 to 90 minutes.


Angioplasty (or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) is a safe and effective treatment option that opens narrowing or blockages in the coronary artery (main artery in the heart) without surgery. The procedure and preparation are very similar to the cardiac catheterization procedure.

A catheter (thin tube) with a small inflatable balloon on the end is inserted into the narrowed section of the artery.

The balloon is inflated so it pushes outward against the plaque and surrounding wall of the artery, opening the narrowing to improve blood flow. The balloon is then deflated and removed from the artery.

Stent Implantation

Many patients who have an angioplasty also have a stent implanted. A stent is a small mesh, metal tube that is placed in your blood vessel on a balloon catheter. The stent expands against the vessel wall as the balloon is inflated.

Once the balloon has been deflated and withdrawn, the stent stays in place permanently, helping to keep the blood vessel open and improve blood flow.

Drug-Eluding Stents

Drug-eluding stents contain a medication slowly released to where the stent is placed. The medication is located within a plastic coating, allowing for the slow release of the drug into the artery wall around the stent. The goal of the drug is to limit the overgrowth of normal tissue as the healing process occurs after the stent is placed.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

TAVR is a new option for patients needing aortic valve repair who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery.

During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin. A replacement valve is then placed on a stent, which is pushed through the blood vessel and into the heart. Once it reaches the aortic valve, a balloon is inflated, pushing the calcification and the faulty valve against the aortic wall, making room for the new valve.