The arteries of the heart become narrowed or even blocked due to plaque, a sticky material, if you suffer from coronary artery disease. Angioplasty is a medical procedure that can restore blood flow throughout the artery.
Doctors may recommend angioplasty in order to minimize the damage to heart muscle after a heart attack and to decrease chest pain that results from reduced blood flow to the heart. In certain cases, angioplasty is a non-surgical method of successfully treating heart disease.
The procedure is performed in a hospital. The doctor will thread a thin, narrow tube via a blood vessel in the groin or arm all the way to the artery in question. A very small balloon is attached to the end of the thin tube. The doctor will inflate this tiny balloon once the tube is place, thus pushing the plaque outward and compressing it against the artery wall. By doing this, your artery widens and blood flow is restored. Angioplasties are relatively easy procedures and most patients return home the day after, and return to work within one week.
- Coronary stenting
To prevent blood clots and stroke, your doctor may prescribe some medications. An interventional technique, carotid angioplasty involves placing a catheter inside the artery in order to hold open a narrowed area. Alternatively, your doctor may insert a stent.
There are several interventional procedures that may help treat coronary artery disease, including coronary angioplasty, athrectomy, stenting, and brachytherapy. A coronary angioplasty opens blocked coronary arteries. An inserted stent keeps a coronary artery open.
A stent is a small tube made of metal mesh that behaves like a scaffold to help support the interior of your coronary artery. Your doctor will use a balloon catheter put over a guide wire to insert the stent into the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. The balloon tip will be inflated once it is in place, and the stent will inflate to the artery’s size, holding it open. After deflating and removing the balloon, the stent permanently remains in place.
The artery will heal around the stent over the course of several weeks. Sometimes, stents will contain medicine and have been designed to reduce the risk of restenosis, which is the risk of reblockage.