Your Care Team During Angioplasty & Stenting

Angioplasty and stenting require the coordinated efforts of a team of medical professionals who will not only perform the procedure and monitor your vital signs but will also prepare you before the procedure and look after your comfort and well-being after the procedure.

Interventional cardiologist

During the procedure, your interventional cardiologist is the doctor who performs the angioplasty and stenting and the team leader dedicated to your care. An interventional cardiologist specializes in treating cardiovascular problems with thin, flexible tubes called catheters. Cardiologists complete four years of medical school, three years of training in internal medicine, and up to three or four additional years of education and experience focused specifically on treating the heart, arteries, and veins.

An interventional cardiologist has one to two years of additional education and training in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease (CVD), congenital (present at birth), and structural heart conditions through catheter-based procedures such as angioplasty and stenting. Additionally, a Board-certified interventional cardiologist will have a valid license, be in good ethical standing in the profession, have passed tests demonstrating knowledge, and will demonstrate lifelong learning. Interventional cardiologists rank among the world's foremost authorities on CVD and its treatment.

After you’re released from the hospital following your procedure, your interventional cardiologist will inform your cardiologist of the outcome of your procedure. (Your interventional cardiologist may be your general cardiologist as well.) Your cardiologist will, in turn, communicate with your primary care doctor. This way, all of the key players on your team are kept up-to-date on your progress.

Before, during, and after your procedure, your interventional cardiologist will be assisted by other care team members listed below.

Catheterization (Cath) lab staff: nurses and technicians

Cath lab staff, including the cath lab manager, nurses, and technicians, support the interventional cardiologist during the procedure. They also monitor your condition and work to make you comfortable. Cath lab staff are closely involved in your care when you arrive at the cath lab. During the procedure, cath lab staff assist the interventional cardiologist and monitor your condition to identify changes that may need immediate attention. Cath lab technicians and nurses watch the cath lab monitors that display your heart rhythm and rate—and notify the doctor if they observe changes.

After your procedure, nurses continue to provide watchful care in the recovery area. Of particular concern is stopping any bleeding from the puncture site through which the interventional cardiologist threaded the catheter into your arteries. Nurses often ask about how your puncture site feels. Plus, they can answer questions and teach you how to care for your puncture wound once you leave the hospital.

Cardiac rehabilitation team

If your doctor recommends cardiac rehabilitation, you’ll work with a team of healthcare professionals, including nurses, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and nutritionists, counselors, and others, who’ll provide education and coaching to support you as you learn and adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle such as eating a healthy diet, becoming physically active, and managing stress.

Cardiologist and primary care doctor

Your cardiologist and primary care doctor will continue to be integral to your care. Your cardiologist will be closely involved with your case while you’re under the care of the interventional cardiologist. Your cardiologist, in turn, should also provide reports and updates to your primary care doctor to ensure your continued coordinated care.