Interventional & Structural Cardiology

Interventional & Structural Cardiology

When you evaluate medical care and treatment for you or your child’s heart-related condition, you and your doctors may consider options—beyond medication—that reduce the need for open-heart surgery by using corrective procedures available through OU Health Interventional & Structural Cardiology in Oklahoma City and Edmond.

Advanced Care for Complex Heart Conditions

At OU Health, you’ll work with a multidisciplinary team of experienced general and interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, imaging specialists and other health professionals who hold the skills and experience to accurately diagnose a wide range of heart-related problems in people of all ages, from premature infants to adults. Through Oklahoma’s first and most comprehensive program of its kind, you and your OU Health heart care team can take advantage of minimally invasive (interventional) techniques to address coronary artery disease (CAD), structural heart conditions and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Accurate Diagnosis + Multidisciplinary Team-Based Care

As you collaborate with your OU Health multidisciplinary heart care team, you’ll complete any necessary diagnostic tests, ranging from cardiac imaging studies to exercise stress tests and more. Then, you and your team work together and in consultation with many healthcare specialties to develop an accurate diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan that may include minimally invasive techniques or hybrid approaches to address your or your child’s specific situation.

Shared Decision Making + Dedicated Support Staff

Throughout the process, you and your family share in making the decisions that affect your care. You also benefit from working with a dedicated cardiac nurse navigator and a dedicated cardiac nurse practitioner (NP) who help coordinate appointments and events involved in your treatment plan, so you can concentrate on your well-being.

Request an Appointment

Request an appointment or get a second opinion when you visit with interventional/structural cardiologists or cardiovascular specialists at OU Health.

Oklahoma City or Edmond
(405) 271-7001

Interventional Cardiac Procedures & Benefits

Instead of—or in addition to—traditional open surgery, interventional cardiology uses minimally invasive procedures, such as cardiac catheterization, that involve thin tubes, known as catheters, threaded through blood vessels to find and treat problems in heart structures and related vessels. Minimally invasive procedures typically result in faster recovery, less pain and scarring, less blood loss and quicker return to everyday life, work, school, sports and activities you love.

Interventional techniques, including a hybrid approach that combines catheter-based procedures with open surgery, can:

  • Correct congenital conditions such as patent foramen ovale (PFO) or atrial and ventricular septal defects
  • Dilate narrowed arteries or veins (stenosis)
  • Gather samples of blood or heart muscle tissue
  • Open or replace narrowed or malfunctioning heart valves
  • Place stents to maintain blood flow in arteries or veins
  • Remove blood clots and blockages from coronary arteries

Interventional & Structural Heart Treatments

You can rely on your experienced OU Health interventional cardiologists, who perform and support hundreds of highly technical invasive and interventional procedures each year. Depending on your specific situation, you and your care team may select interventions (treatments) in three major areas:

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD), complex coronary disease – Narrowing, inflammation or blockages in vessels supplying blood to the heart; may involve chest pain (angina) or complex cardiac abnormalities, including congenital conditions
  • Structural heart conditions – Heart valve repair or replacement; addresses atrial fibrillation (Afib), mitral valve regurgitation and more
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – Blockages to blood flow in extremities (legs, ankles, feet, hands, arms)

Heart Attack Symptoms - Get to know the American Heart Association’s warning signs of heart attack. For immediate help, call 911.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Interventions

From a foundation of medical therapy—medications (including statins) and lifestyle changes—to help control conditions that contribute to heart problems (diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol), you and your OU Health heart care team may choose interventional diagnostic and treatment options for coronary artery disease or complex coronary disease.

CAD Diagnostics

Accurately diagnosing conditions in the coronary arteries may involve one or more types of coronary artery imaging studies:

  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) – Uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of moving organs and/or blood flow
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – Uses infrared light waves to create high-resolution 2D and 3D images of coronary arteries

Other interventional diagnostic options include coronary artery flow studies, also known as hemodynamic (blood flow) studies:

  • Fractional flow reserve (FFR) – Measures pressure differences in arteries before and after narrowing (stenosis) from plaque build up
  • Instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) – Helps determine blood flow limits in coronary arteries
  • Resting full-cycle ratio (RFR) – Measures resting pressure-based blood flow ratio in coronary arteries; alternative to FFR
CAD Treatments

Beyond medical therapy (medications for blood pressure and/or cholesterol management with lifestyle changes for exercise and nutrition), if you experience symptoms such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack, your interventional options may include minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedures for diagnosis, treatment, or combined diagnosis and treatment:

  • Angiography – Visualizes coronary arteries to find and treat blockages
  • Coronary angioplasty (balloon) – Inserts tiny balloon device to open blocked artery
  • Coronary stent placement/implantation (angioplasty) – Places stent/mesh device to keep artery open through a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) minimally invasive procedure

For advanced coronary artery disease, you and your OU Health team may take advantage of an interventional treatment support option known as percutaneous left ventricular assist device (LVAD). This minimally invasive procedure inserts a tiny pump into the heart through a leg artery to keep the heart working during complex procedures for advanced coronary artery disease treatment, peripheral arterial disease treatment or as part of the repair or replacement of heart valves or for other issues affecting heart structures.

Complex Coronary Disease Treatments

Complex coronary disease typically involves blood flow restrictions from lesions within blood vessels. The interventional procedure known as coronary atherectomy uses energy (heat, cold) to remove plaque and open blocked arteries. Based on your particular condition, you and your OU Health interventional heart care team may choose from four types of atherectomy devices: orbital, rotational, laser (light-based) or directional.

Structural Heart Interventions

The physical structure of the heart encompasses four chambers, four valves, related tissues, arteries, veins and nerves. Cardiovascular diseases, heart valve disease, cancer treatments and other events (chest pain, shortness of breath and more) can damage these structures in ways that affect your quality of life or may lead to heart attack or an early end to life.

Structural Heart Treatments

Many heart structures, including heart valves, respond well to repair or replacement through interventional (minimally invasive, nonsurgical, percutaneous) procedures. Depending on your particular condition, you and your OU Health heart care team may choose from a range of interventional treatments for structural heart problems.

  • Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) – Interventional procedure for atrial fibrillation (Afib) in people with high risk of bleeding and inability to take blood thinner; uses Watchman™ implantable device to seal left atrial appendage; reduces stroke risk for non-valvular Afib; removes need for blood thinner medications; especially helpful for cancer survivors who may take medications or use therapies that increase tendency for bleeding
  • Aortic valve replacement – Minimally invasive procedure for aortic stenosis, a narrowing of main heart valve connecting left ventricle to aorta, the main blood vessel that carries blood throughout the body
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) – Interventional procedure for aortic valve disease or aortic stenosis; minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery for replacing main heart valve in qualified people; offered in OU Health cardiac catheterization lab; typical recovery in 24-48 hours
  • Mitral valve replacement for mitral valve regurgitation – Interventional procedure for mitral valve leakage, often related to congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Transcatheter edge-to-edge repair (TEER) – Minimally invasive (percutaneous) procedure for leakiness (regurgitation) in mitral valve connecting left atrium to left ventricle (the two left-side heart chambers); implants MitraClip™ device in alternative procedure for those who cannot tolerate open-heart surgery

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Interventions

Discomfort with walking, pain in the legs or thighs, or ulcerations on legs or feet may indicate peripheral arterial disease (PAD) from a lack of blood flow or blockage (claudication) in the lower extremities. Advanced PAD conditions, such as chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI), may even lead to the loss of a foot, ankle or leg. To address blood circulation problems in your legs and feet, you and your OU Health heart team may choose interventional diagnostic imaging procedures followed by minimally invasive treatments.

PAD Diagnostic Imaging

Detailed images of the legs and feet support a thorough evaluation of arteries and blockages to circulation.

  • Arteriogram (angiography) – Uses X-ray and contrast dye to map arteries in lower body, legs, arms
  • Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) – Uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of moving organs and/or blood flows
PAD Treatments

Through similar options for treating coronary artery disease, you and your OU Health care team may choose interventional techniques to care for peripheral arterial disease.

  • Atherectomy – Uses catheter-based options (directional or orbital), as in coronary atherectomy, to remove plaque from arteries in legs or feet
  • Peripheral angioplasty (balloon) – Inserts and inflates a small balloon inside a blocked artery to re-establish blood flow
  • Stent placement – Uses catheter-based procedure to insert and place metal mesh tube (stent) to hold artery open

Clinical Research & Clinical Trials

Ask your OU Health interventional heart care team if you may qualify to participate in clinical research studies or clinical trials for topics related to heart conditions and peripheral disease. Depending on current areas under study or research, topics may involve emerging procedures for cardiac catheterization or exploration of conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary disease, peripheral disease and more.

Related OU Health Services

When you or your loved ones need additional care for heart or vascular conditions, you and your OU Health team may decide to set up referrals for related cardiovascular services, including:

Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

Learn how to exercise for heart health and find out more about eating heart-healthy foods.

Your Expert Interventional Heart Care Team

At OU Health, you’ll work with a team of extensively experienced and highly trained heart care experts, including board-certified interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, specialized anesthesiologists, electrophysiologists, nurses and more healthcare professionals who understand and practice the latest achievements in evidence-based cardiovascular medicine.

Through your team’s participation in a wide range of innovative research, clinical trials and device studies, you may gain early access—often available nowhere else in Oklahoma—to treatment options including advanced diagnostic techniques, hybrid treatment approaches combining minimally invasive with open procedures, as well as the latest heart care devices such as pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and valve replacements for qualified people, all of which give you more ways to enhance your quality of life.

You and your team also may consult or coordinate efforts with a variety of healthcare specialties ranging from orthopedics, cancer, gastroenterology, pulmonology and electrophysiology to others that draw on the extensive expertise of the OU Health academic medical center and health system. You benefit from comprehensive care, world-leading research, advanced technology and innovative techniques in a collaborative team environment that supports your health and well-being.