Coronary angioplasty

Chest | Cardiology | Coronary angioplasty (Disease)


Coronary Angioplasty is a medical procedure used to restore flow through narrowed or blocked arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. At times a tube, also known as a stent, is inserted into the opened vessel to keep it form re-blocking.

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), commonly known as coronary angioplasty or simply angioplasty, is one therapeutic procedure used to treat the stenotic (narrowed) coronary arteries of the heart found in coronary heart disease. These stenotic segments are due to the build up of cholesterol-laden plaques that form due to atherosclerosis. PCI is usually performed by an interventional cardiologist, though was developed and originally performed by interventional radiologists.

Coronary angioplasty is widely practised and has a number of risks; however, major procedural complications are uncommon. Coronary angioplasty is usually performed by an interventional cardiologist, a medical doctor with special training in the treatment of the heart using invasive catheter-based procedures.

A special catheter (long hollow tube) is inserted into the coronary artery to be treated. This catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip. The balloon is inflated once the catheter has been placed into the narrowed area of the coronary artery. The inflation of the balloon compresses the fatty tissue in the artery and makes a larger opening inside the artery for improved blood flow.

The use of fluoroscopy (a special type of X-ray, similar to an X-ray movie) assists the doctor in the location of blockages in the coronary arteries as the contrast dye moves through the arteries. A small sample of heart tissue (called a biopsy) may be obtained during the procedure to be examined later under the microscope for abnormalities. ...

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