angioplasty & stenting

Atherosclerotic plaques narrow the arteries and restrict blood flow to the coronary arteries. Angioplasty is often required to restore the blood flow to the coronary arteries. This same technique is used for treating peripheral artery disease that restricts blood flow to other parts of the body. Recuperation from angioplasty occurs generally in a relatively short period since only local anesthesia and mild sedation is used for the procedure. Although many patients spend one night in the hospital, they are able to return to their normal activity in a day or two.

The most common form of angioplasty is known as balloon angioplasty. In this procedure, a thin tube or catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin. A tiny balloon passes through the catheter and is guided to the restricted or narrowed area(s). The balloon is then expanded until the atherosclerotic plaque is pressed against the artery wall, thus stretching open the formerly restricted artery.

A stent often follows angioplasty because it structurally supports the narrowed part of the artery. A stent is a mesh-like cylinder that can be placed in the coronary artery, carotid arteries and other (peripheral) parts of the body. The Bon Secours heart surgeons at the Heart & Vascular Institute provide drug-eluting stents, meaning that these stents used may reduce the potential for the artery to become narrowed again.

A stent comes in various sizes, allowing correct placement in coronary arteries, carotid arteries, and peripheral arteries in other parts of the body. The stent remains in the artery and is not removed.


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