Interventional cardiologists use non-surgical techniques — usually by running a catheter through the arteries into and around the heart — to repair the blockages that cut off the flow of blood in and out of the heart. Our cardiologists perform angioplasties, in which a balloon attached to the catheter clears the arteries, and are also experienced in the use of stents. In addition to traditional stents, WVU Medicine uses drug-eluting stents, which deliver medication directly to the site of the blockage. We perform between 1,500 to 1,800 angioplasties and stent placements annually.
For a heart attack patient, “door to balloon” is the time from arrival at the hospital until the start of balloon angioplasty. The national goal for “door to balloon” is 90 minutes. The WVU Heart and Vascular Institute far exceeds that goal.
We have the doctors, technology, and facilities, including our cardiac labs, to make a rapid diagnosis and take quick, effective action 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have refined our coordination and teamwork to a science.