Angioplasty (with stent or without)
When arteries become narrowed or clogged, angioplasty can open the vessels and restore good blood flow. This minimally invasive procedure, conducted by Pilla Heart Center specialists in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, treats coronary artery disease, heart attack or myocardial infarction, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and other heart-related problems. Angioplasty is often used to open clogged arteries due to the cholesterol plaque build-up of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
During angioplasty, a thin, flexible catheter with a balloon tip is guided into the blockage. The balloon tip then inflates, opening the vessel and allowing blood to flow. Because of this special tip, the procedure is sometimes called “balloon angioplasty.”
A wire mesh stent (small tube) also may be inserted to support the artery walls and help keep them from narrowing. Some stents are drug-eluted, or coated with medication, to help maintain the free flow of blood. Whether an angioplasty patient receives a stent, and whether the stent used is drug-eluting, depends upon specific medical criteria.
For expertise on angioplasty, contact the specialists at Abington’s Pilla Heart Center, Blank Vascular Center, Heart Rhythm Center, Cardiac Surgery and Comprehensive Heart Failure Program.