Cardiovascular Catheterization and Intervention

Program Overview

The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory provides experienced and coordinated care to patients with a variety of cardiac problems. A five-bed holding room admits patients who are in need of urgent or emergency procedures without delay. A dedicated cardiac interventional unit is staffed by attending physicians, physician assistants and nurses familiar with the specific needs of patients undergoing catheterization. This setting fosters optimal patient education before and after the procedure. Patients learn about their specific disease, risk factors, treatment and prevention strategies, and necessary lifestyle changes.

Contact Us:

Call (617) 638-8702 for more informationĀ or to schedule an appointment.

Our Team

Alice K. Jacobs, MD, Director
Eric Awtry, MD
Clifford Berger, MD
David Dobroski, MD
Claudia Hochberg, MD
A. David Litvak, MD
Zoran S. Nedeljkovic, MD
Ashvin Pande, MD
Khether Raby, MD
Richard Ress, MD
Nicholas Ruocco, MD
George Waters, MD
Benoy Zachariah, MD

Excellent clinical results
In-hospital mortality rate less than 0.4 percent
Emergency bypass cardiology surgery rate less than 1 percent

Known for providing excellent care, the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory uses the latest technology and meticulous techniques to diagnose and treat cardiac disease. Our patients and their families appreciate our immediate service, ongoing communication with the primary care physician and cardiologist, and our focus on patient education.

Treatment options
Several approaches are used to diagnose and treat heart disease prior to referring a patient to the CVC. An exercise stress test or echocardiogram may confirm the diagnosis of a specific disorder. Patients who have no symptoms, or very mild and stable symptoms, may be treated with medications only. However, patients are referred to the CVC for cardiac catheterization and coronary angiogram to assess the extent of the problem if their symptoms worsen or if they are severe. In patients with significant blockages in the coronary arteries, coronary angioplasty may be recommended. Alternatively, in patients with multiple blockages, particularly if one or more coronary arteries are totally blocked, coronary artery bypass surgery may be the procedure of choice.

Coronary angioplasty procedures
For patients who are candidates for coronary angioplasty, the CVC offers multiple types of procedures using the newest technology. Patients may undergo balloon angioplasty, stent placement, rotational atherectomy, directional coronary atherectomy, intravascular ultrasound, angiojet and/or measurement of intracoronary pressure using a special wire. The specific procedure recommended is determined by the type and location of each coronary artery blockage. For patients with renarrowing within a previously placed stent (in-stent restenosis), the Cardiovascular Center offers intravascular brachytherapy, the most effective treatment for this problem. In fact, the CVC’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab was the first in the United States to perform intravascular brachytherapy using a new FDA-approved system of beta radiation.

Clinical research trials
Due to the excellent reputation of the Cardiovascular Catheterization and Interventional Laboratory, the CVC has been invited to participate in numerous National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and industry-funded clinical trials of new devices and treatment strategies designed to evaluate various new and promising therapies in patients with coronary artery disease. Participation in these trials enables patients of the CVC to receive new therapies prior to their widespread availability. Click here for Clinical Trials.

Innovative primary angioplasty program
Boston Medical Center has been a leader in the performance of primary angioplasty, the procedure to open blocked arteries in patients suffering from a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction). It has been shown that the faster the artery is opened and blood flow is restored to the heart muscle, the better the chance of recovery. The CVC’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory staff provides primary angioplasty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year to improve outcomes in heart attack victims.

New treatment for blocked carotid arteries
A multidisciplinary team of BMC cardiologists, vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists is offering a new, minimally invasive procedure for patients with carotid artery disease.

The disease occurs when a buildup of hard deposits or plaque clogs the arteries that supply blood to the face and front part of the brain. As a result, the arteries thicken and harden, slowing blood flow and increasing a patient’s risk for stroke. Approximately one-third of the more than 600,000 strokes in the United States are the result of blockages in the carotid arteries.

Traditionally, treatment for the disease involves a surgical procedure known as carotid endarterectomy. The procedure entails making an incision in the patient’s neck so doctors can remove plaque from the blocked artery. In some cases, the temporary rerouting of blood flow and a vein graft may be needed to repair or widen the artery.

In the new procedure, known as carotid artery stenting, doctors thread a catheter through the patient’s groin and guide it into the blocked artery. The catheter contains a stent and an embolic protection device used to catch any pieces of plaque or other particles that may be released during the procedure. After positioning the embolic protection device beyond the blockage, doctors open the stent, allowing for better blood flow through the artery.