As cardiologists and heart surgeons search for new techniques to treat heart and vascular disease in less invasive ways, many new percutaneous (also called endovascular) procedures are evolving that will provide non-surgical treatment options for patients in the future.
Instead of the large incision required for traditional heart or vascular surgery, percutaneous approaches use special catheters and devices to treat the problem through one or more small puncture sites through the skin.
Endoscopic approaches are a subset of percutaneous approaches that use one or more small puncture sites and a thin video instrument with a small camera at the tip. This scope transmits a picture of the internal organs on a video monitor to give the surgeon a close-up view of the surgical area as he performs the procedure.
For the patient, percutaneous procedures mean very small incisions and a much quicker recovery time. Even better, they may offer options for some patients who could not undergo conventional surgery due to poor heart function or additional medical problems.
The following are current procedures that may be performed percutaneously at the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. Some may be used in current practice. Others are being evaluated in research studies: