Advanced Heart & Vascular Care
Angioplasty & Stenting
Angioplasty is a procedure done by inflating a small balloon into the a
blocked artery. 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.
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),
is used to remove the plaque.
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.
For more information on Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center's Stead
Heart & Vascular Center, please call