Angioplasty


Image Caption : Angioplasty Surgery : Angioplasty involves widening an artery from within to allow improved blood flow to heart tissue.

Angioplasty

Also called: Balloon angioplasty
If you have coronary artery disease, the arteries in your heart are narrowed or blocked by a sticky material called plaque. Angioplasty is a procedure to restore blood flow through the artery.

You have angioplasty in a hospital. The doctor threads a thin tube through a blood vessel in the arm or groin up to the involved site in the artery. The tube has a tiny balloon on the end. When the tube is in place, the doctor inflates the balloon to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery. This widens the artery and restores blood flow.

Doctors may use angioplasty to

  • Reduce chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart
  • Minimize damage to heart muscle from a heart attack

Many people go home the day after angioplasty, and are able to return to work within a week of coming home.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

How Is Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Done?

Before you have percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), your doctor will need to know the location and extent of the blockages in your coronary (heart) arteries. To find this information, your doctor will use coronary angiography (an-jee-OG-rah-fee). This test uses dye and special x rays to show the insides of your arteries.

During angiography, a small tube (or tubes) called a catheter is inserted into an artery, usually in the groin (upper thigh). The catheter is threaded to the coronary arteries.

Special dye, which is visible on x-ray pictures, is injected through the catheter. Thex-ray pictures are taken as the dye flows through your coronary arteries. The dye shows whether blockages are present and their location and severity.

During PCI, another catheter with a balloon at its tip (a balloon catheter) is inserted in the coronary artery and placed in the blockage. Then, the balloon is expanded. This pushes the plaque against the artery wall, relieving the blockage and improving blood flow.

PERCUTANEOUS CORONARY INTERVENTION

Figure A shows the location of the heart and coronary arteries. Figure B shows a deflated balloon catheter inserted into a coronary artery narrowed by plaque. The inset image shows a cross-section of the artery with the inserted balloon catheter. In figure C, the balloon is inflated, compressing the plaque against the artery wall. Figure D shows the widened artery with increased blood flow. The inset image shows a cross-section of the widened artery and compressed plaque.
Figure A shows the location of the heart and coronary arteries. Figure B shows a deflated balloon catheter inserted into a coronary artery narrowed by plaque. The inset image shows a cross-section of the artery with the inserted balloon catheter. In figure C, the balloon is inflated, compressing the plaque against the artery wall. Figure D shows the widened artery with increased blood flow. The inset image shows a cross-section of the widened artery and compressed plaque.


A small mesh tube called a stent usually is placed in the artery during the procedure. The stent is wrapped around the deflated balloon catheter before the catheter is inserted into the artery.

When the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque, the stent expands and attaches to the artery wall. The stent supports the inner artery wall and reduces the chance of the artery becoming narrow or blocked again.

Some stents are coated with medicine that is slowly and continuously released into the artery. They are called drug-eluting stents. The medicine helps prevent scar tissue from blocking the artery following PCI.

PERCUTANEOUS CORONARY INTERVENTION WITH STENT PLACEMENT

Figure A shows the location of the heart and coronary arteries. Figure B shows the deflated balloon catheter and closed stent inserted into the narrow coronary artery. The inset image shows a cross-section of the artery with the inserted balloon catheter and closed stent. In figure C, the balloon is inflated, expanding the stent and compressing the plaque against the artery wall. Figure D shows the stent-widened artery. The inset image shows a cross-section of the compressed plaque and stent-widened artery.
Figure A shows the location of the heart and coronary arteries. Figure B shows the deflated balloon catheter and closed stent inserted into the narrow coronary artery. The inset image shows a cross-section of the artery with the inserted balloon catheter and closed stent. In figure C, the balloon is inflated, expanding the stent and compressing the plaque against the artery wall. Figure D shows the stent-widened artery. The inset image shows a cross-section of the compressed plaque and stent-widened artery.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute / NIH

Angioplasty (or Balloon angioplasty) is an endovascular procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins, typically to treat arterial atherosclerosis. An empty, collapsed balloon, known as a balloon catheter, is passed over a wire into the narrowed locations and then inflated to a fixed size. The balloon forces expansion of the stenosis (narrowing) within the vessel and the surrounding muscular wall, opening up the blood vessel for improved flow, and the balloon is then deflated and withdrawn. A stent may or may not be inserted at the time of ballooning to ensure the vessel remains open.

The word is composed of the combining forms of the Greek words ἀγγεῖον aggayyon ‘vessel’/‘cavity’ (of the human body) and πλάσσω plasso ‘form’/‘mould’. Angioplasty has come to include all manner of vascular interventions that are typically performed in a minimally-invasive or percutaneous method.



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