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Angioplasty

Putting It All Together: Angioplasty

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 14:32

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to angioplasty.

  • Angioplasty is now the most common procedure performed to widen coronary arteries narrowed bycoronary artery disease.
  • Angioplasty can be done using one of several instruments attached to the end of a long, thin tube, called a catheter. These instruments include a balloon, a laser, and a drill. Often, they can be used together. Currently, the most popular approach isballoon angioplasty in combination with coronary stenting.
  • The popularity of angioplasty is due to its ability to increase the flow of blood through the coronary arteries without the need for major surgery.
  • The situations in which angioplasty is used has broadened considerably over the years, from simple blockages in just one artery to more complicated cases involving several arteries. Still, angioplasty is not appropriate for everyone.
  • Angioplasty was once a two-day procedure, but now patients go home much sooner, usually the next day. Some hospitals are even doing angioplasty on an outpatient basis (without an overnight hospital stay) for patients who are otherwise healthy and whose procedures are uncomplicated.
  • The most common complication of angioplasty is restenosis, or reclosure of the artery widened by angioplasty.

Angioplasty