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Angioplasty

As people age, they can develop a heart disease called atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty plaque in the coronary arteries which diminishes or blocks the flow of blood to the heart. Angioplasty, or percutaneous coronary intervention, is a procedure performed to open clogged coronary arteries and improve blood flow to the heart. It can relieve chest pain, shortness of breath and other symptoms caused by blocked arteries.

For the procedure, a long guide wire and a thin, hollow tube called a catheter are inserted in the leg near the groin. They are threaded up through the arterial system until they reach the area of the heart where the blood vessel is narrowed or blocked. Then, a tiny balloon at the end of the catheter inflates and deflates, pushing away plaque, clearing the blockage and widening the artery. A tiny metal-mesh tube called a stent may then be permanently placed in the artery to help the blood vessel remain open so blood adequately flows to the heart. Some stents are coated with a medication that helps prevent the artery from clotting and becoming blocked again.

Angioplasty may be a treatment option for patients who:

  • Are at risk for having a heart attack
  • Have severe blockage in one or two coronary arteries
  • Have chest pain or discomfort caused by coronary heart disease

The angioplasty and stenting procedures take approximately 1½ to 3 hours to perform. Patients may need to stay in the hospital overnight for observation.

What is cancer?

anatomy of cancer

Why does cancer develop and why does it respond to certain treatments? The Anatomy of Cancer, a five-minute video, explains cancer in everyday terms.

Care under one roof

care under one roof

You'll find diagnostic testing and treatments, as well as a variety of support resources, onsite at our hospital.

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