Interventional Cardiology

If you need a minimally invasive heart or vascular procedure, trust the experienced heart specialists at Essentia Health. We use the latest techniques and technology to ensure your best possible outcome.

Interventional cardiologists use long, thin tubes (catheters) and tiny incisions to perform procedures. Compared to traditional surgery, you’ll have smaller scars, less risk of pain and complications, and a faster recovery time.

What's an Interventional Cardiologist?

An interventional cardiologist is a heart doctor with specialized training in the treatment of heart diseases using catheter-based procedures like angioplasty and stenting.

Types of Procedures

The type of procedure you will have will depend on your specific condition. Your care team will answer your questions, explain your choices, and tell you what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Treatments may include:

  • Atrial septal defect (ASD) closure
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Balloon valvuloplasty (BAV) for stenosis
  • Coronary stenting
  • Left atrial appendage occlusion
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD) closure
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Mitral valve repair and replacement, which uses a MitraClip® device to repair a leaky mitral valve

Medical Insight: Mitra Clip Video Transcript

A gradient blue featuring several Essentia Health logos appears. Text, Medical Insight.

SPEAKER: Welcome to Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health.

Medical Insight host, Maureen Talarico, speaks to the camera. She stands in front of operating room equipment.

MAUREEN TALARICO: Today on Medical Insight, interventional cardiologist Dr. Kalkidan Bishu explains how the mitral clip device can repair the leaky mitral valve of heart failure patients who are too sick to undergo traditional surgery.

Dr . Kalkidan Bishu, interventional cardiologist, holds a complex heart model for demonstration.

KALKIDAN BISHU: When the pumping chamber on the left side of the heart, which we call the left ventricle, when it's trying to pump blood forward through this major vessel, the aorta, to the whole body, an incompetent mitral valve results in part of the blood that's supposed to be going forward returning back towards the left atrium, the upper chamber, and the lungs. Patients may not develop symptoms until the leakage gets so bad in older age. MAUREEN TALARICO: Shortness of breath, even with minor levels of exertion, is a symptom of mitral regurgitation. KALKIDAN BISHU: Until about a few years ago, the only option that was left for these patients was trying to manage them their symptoms with medicine, diuretics, vasodilators. But that really doesn't go a long way. So the MitraClip system is a mitral valve repair system where you try to clip the two anterior and posterior leaflets of the mitral valve to reduce regurgitation in patients who are not surgical candidates. Right after the patient wakes up from the procedure, the leakage of the fluid that is backing up into the lungs is markedly reduced, and people actually do get the benefit right away.

The small mitrial chip is demonstrated, and opened.

MAUREEN TALARICO: The mitral clip was approved by the FDA in 2013. And Essentia's Heart and Vascular Center is the only location north of the Twin Cities to offer the specialized option. KALKIDAN BISHU: I've realized how much need there is for the kind of care that we provide and how much that people appreciate being able to get that care down here. MAUREEN TALARICO: For Medical Insight, I'm Maureen Talarico. SPEAKER: To learn more about this topic, call our experts at 786-3107.

Text, Medical Insight. Phone number, 218-786-3107. Website, essentia health dot org. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Here with you.

Learn more about heart surgery at Essentia.

Follow-Up Care

Learn how cardiac rehabilitation can help you strengthen your heart after an interventional cardiology procedure.

Get Your Heart Help Fast

Medical Insight: Get Your Heart Help Fast - Essentia Health Video Transcript


Text, Essentia Health Medical Insight. A heart glows in a visualization of a body. Minutes on a flip clock advance rapidly.

TRACY BRIGGS: When it comes to heart attacks, time is muscle. Every second counts when delivering treatment, and potentially saving your life. But what if you live in an isolated, rural area, far from a major hospital? Dr. Sam Kapphahn, an Interventional Cardiologist at Essentia Health in Fargo, stresses the importance of reaching out for help immediately. DR. SAM KAPPHAHN: Please don't get in your car. Please don't drive to Fargo. Go to your closest hospital first, so that we can get the cascade of who we need to contact and who needs to be there to take care of you. TRACY BRIGGS: Dr. Kapphahn says from the moment you seek help, medical professionals are taking action. TRACY BRIGGS: Right away, in the ambulance, we are starting to give you medications, like even just an aspirin, to help get that into the system to try to help work on that blood clot. And then between our ambulance folks and our people in the emergency department, who take care of these patients, we often start giving blood thinners in a way to try to help stabilize and help your body start breaking down that clot.

EKG readout

TRACY BRIGGS: Once at the hospital, doctors may try opening the blockage with a stent, which is a metal framework shaped like a ballpoint pen.

DR. SAM KAPPHAHN: It goes into the area of the heart artery. It's fitted over a balloon that's very small, that's designed to go into the heart arteries, and then the balloon is expanded. The stent is expanded, and it traps the area blockage between the inside of the pipeline of the blood vessel, and opens up the tube. And that is how we look to restore the blood flow for somebody who has an area blockage.

TRACY BRIGGS: Dr. Kapphahn says following surgery, some patients are able to go home within a day or two. But the longer you wait to get help, the greater chance of heart damage and complications. So play it safe. Don't wait. Your heart will thank you for it. With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.


The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health Medical Insight.

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