Interventional Procedures (HS)

Angioplasty and Stenting

Angioplasty may be done by attaching a small balloon to the catheter. Once the catheter has been guided to the proper location in a coronary artery, the balloon is inflated. The pressure from the inflated balloon presses the plaque against the wall of the artery to improve blood flow.
Stenting usually is done along with angioplasty. Once the plaque is compressed using angioplasty, a small expandable wire tube called a stent is inserted into the artery to hold it open. Reclosure of the artery is less likely to occur after angioplasty followed by stenting than after angioplasty alone. This is the most common procedure performed.


Atherectomy may be done during cardiac catheterization to open a partially blocked coronary artery. Once the catheter reaches the narrowed portion of the artery, a cutting device, a whirling blade (such as a rotoblade), or a laser beam is used to remove the plaque.

Coronary Angioplasty

Angioplasty and related techniques are known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Angioplasty is a procedure in which a narrowed section of the coronary artery is dilated with a balloon catheter. Angioplasty is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time than bypass surgery, which is also done to increase blood flow to the heart muscle but requires open-heart surgery. Most of the time stents are placed during angioplasty.
After sedation, a thin flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and carefully guided up the aorta into the blocked coronary artery. Cardiac catheterization, also called coronary angiography, is performed first to identify any blockages.
After angioplasty, you will be moved to our holding area or to the post coronary care unit. Your heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure will be closely monitored and the catheter insertion site checked for bleeding. You will have a large bandage or a compression device at your groin and the catheter insertion site to prevent bleeding. You will be instructed to keep your leg straight if the insertion site is at your groin.
You usually can start walking within 12 to 24 hours after angioplasty. The average hospital stay is 1 to 2 days for uncomplicated procedures. You may resume exercise and driving after several days.


An atherectomy is an invasive cardiology interventional procedure used to remove plaque that has developed in the coronary arteries. The procedure utilizes the techniques of cardiac catheterization to deliver a catheter to the affected coronary artery. A device called a Rotoblader, which "burrows" its way through the plaque, is an effective atherectomy technique.
Using a special catheter inserted into the coronary artery, the rotoblader cuts its way into the plaque with a diamond tipped head, pulverizing it into microscopic pieces that float downstream and are disposed of by your body. The technique is most effective in calcified plaque, or soft-stone consistency. There are several variants on the atherectomy (rotoblader) procedure. These procedures are named by the type of cutting device that is at the tip of the catheter such as rotational, directional and extraction.
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